UNC Extends Invite to Killeya-Jones

North Carolina's staff didn't wait long to contact Sacha Killeya-Jones once the 2016 power forward announced his decommitment from Virginia.

Prior to his commitment to Virginia, North Carolina was not heavily recruiting Sacha Killeya-Jones. Since his decommitment last week, Killeya-Jones described the Tar Heels’ interest as “more serious now.”

“I’ve improved a lot as a player since I committed,” the 6-10 forward said. “Through hard work, I’ve gotten a lot better.”

Specifically, Killeya-Jones cites his work with trainer Gilbert Abraham and his coaches at Virginia Episcopal School as the catalysts for his rapid improvement.

“I’d say all aspects (of my game) have improved,” he said. “There’s not much to do at boarding school besides work out and go to class. The most noticeable thing is my outside play and guard skills. My defense is better and my athleticism has improved with more strength because I’ve been lifting every day too.”

Florida, Texas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgetown and Miami are among the schools to show interest in Killeya-Jones. UNC assistant C.B. McGrath recruited him prior to his commitment and reached out again last week.

“I’ve talked to him a couple of times and he was saying they were interested in me,” explained Killeya-Jones. “I’m going down on Tuesday and Thursday to play pick up with them.”

The drive isn’t a long one for Killeya-Jones, a Chapel Hill native who lives just miles from the Smith Center. In fact, he regularly works out in historic Woollen Gym on the UNC campus. That closeness has given him a good feel for Carolina basketball.

“I like North Carolina as a program because it’s one of the best in the country,” he said. “There’s a lot to like about Coach Roy and the school. The only knock against them is what’s going to happen with the (NCAA) allegations. That’s the only blemish on their record.”

On the AAU circuit, Killeya-Jones plays with Team Felton, alongside 2017 UNC commitment Jalek Felton. While having Felton in Killeya-Jones’s ear about joining him in Chapel Hill won’t hurt the Tar Heels’ chances, it won’t necessarily help them either.

“We’re cool and everything, but we both understand it’s cool to play with your friends in college, but that’s a bonus, that’s a cherry on top,” Killeya-Jones said. “That’s not why you make the decision. I just want to make sure the fit is right with me at the school I pick.”

Killeya-Jones plans to make official visits prior to committing and signing with the school of his choice.

“I want to make sure – that’s one of the main reasons I decommitted, because I didn’t go through the entire recruiting process,” he said. “I want to make sure the school I pick is the right fit playing-style wise and development wise long term. It has to be a school that’s going to challenge me academically. It’s not a four-year decision; it’s a 40-year decision about which school can also help me after basketball.”

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