Finding out he’ll be on scholarship all four years at North Carolina didn’t change much for Luke Maye.
He’s still looking forward to playing for the school he rooted for growing up. He still wants to prove he’s good enough to compete in the ACC. He still is working to improve his overall game.
The scholarship did, however, provide some validation.
“I never really put a lot of focus on the scholarship when I committed,” Maye said. “(Carolina) is a great place to go to school and continue my basketball career. The scholarship, I guess, showed how much my hard work and dedication to the game meant. It showed that this is reality. I really appreciate Coach (Roy) Williams doing that.”
Maye said Williams first brought up the idea of a four-year scholarship a few months back. The two talk every couple of weeks and Williams finalized the scholarship offer during a recent conversation. Last week, Maye signed his National Letter of Intent.
Williams called Maye’s recruitment “one of the most pleasant recruiting experiences I have ever gone through.”
“I feel like we were very honest and truthful to each other,” explained Maye. “We both wanted the same goal and that was for everyone to be happy. I feel like we really connected at the beginning. It was a great process and it helped my decision with him and the way he handled everything with the investigation.”
Williams’s response to the investigation, referring to the NCAA’s year-long re-investigation into potential violations at UNC, was a big factor in Maye’s decision to attend Carolina.
“He told me what he felt about the situation and I believed him,” Maye said. “That was enough. I’m just going in there to help the team and become a better basketball player.”
That process started at the 42nd Annual Capital Classic in Washington, D.C. Maye scored 15 points and pulled down 12 rebounds en route to MVP honors.
“I enjoyed the event and really had a good time playing with all those great players,” said Maye. “It was fun just to be a part of such a historic event. I’m glad I played well and it helped me work on some of the things I’ve been working on in the offseason.”
That work includes focusing on defense and rebounding, improving his shooting range and overall skills as a basketball player. He also plans to work to improve his flexibility, agility and quickness.
On June 15, Maye will graduate from Cornelius (N.C.) Hough.
“I have some mixed feelings about graduation,” he said. “I’m ready to get to college and continue my basketball career, but I’m kind of not looking forward to leaving high school and some of the friends I’ve made. It’ll be different (in college), but I’m sure it will be a great experience.”
Seven days later, he’ll move into his dorm and enroll at Carolina.
“It’s going to be a blast,” said Maye.
Though he wasn’t highly ranked and overlooked by some local schools, Maye feels he can help the Tar Heels. Not as a senior or in a couple of years, but next season.
“I have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder because I’m not the typical Carolina player,” he said. “I love the competition and challenge to play against some of the best. That was hard to turn down. Coach Williams likes that I’m a true basketball player. I’m not a selfish guy, I just want to win. That’s the big thing I like to do… whatever I can do to help the team is most important.”
Joining Maye in UNC’s class of 2015 is Kenny Williams, a player he’s shared the court with in the past at the NBPA Top 100 Camp.
“After he committed, I started talking to him a little more,” said Maye. “I know he can shoot it and he’s a team guy who likes to win as well. He’s a great guy and I look forward to playing with him.”
Maye Eager For The Challenge
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