Heels make late run at Hairston

North Carolina will make the trip to Detroit on Wednesday night to see if they can make a run at the nation's top unsigned senior who is expected to attend college, but it appears they may be too late.

Malik Hairston, a do-everything 6-6 senior small forward at Detroit Renaissance (Mich.), is surprisingly still on the board. He has been considering offers from UCLA, Kansas, Ohio State, Michigan and most, recently Oklahoma and Oregon.

Now the Tar Heels have entered the picture.

"In my tenure as a coach, this is the strangest recruitment I've seen," said The Family boss Durand "Speedy" Walker. "As close as I am to Malik, I couldn't even begin to guess where he wants to go to school. I just don't think he's comfortable making the decision yet. No one really knows where Malik is day-to-day with this whole thing."

However, by Hairston's own admission, it will be extremely difficult for UNC to even get an official visit. Hairston still has two remaining – and it's likely the Sooners will get one of them. He may not even take the final one.

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"With Oregon and North Carolina, it's been very casual conversations," Hairston said. "I've spoken on the phone with them once each time."

While the North Carolina name sways many 16-year-olds, Hairston likely won't be one of them, according to those close to Hairston.

"He's just not overwhelmed by anybody," Walker added. "When he found out North Carolina was interested, it was really no different than when any other school called. No one has really excited this kid enough for him to commit."

"Oklahoma would be the only other school I visit as of right now," Hairston said. "That could change, but I doubt it."

"I honestly think I just plan on focusing on the five schools on my list right now," he added.

For now, Hairston is trying his best to focus on the Public School League playoffs, which begin tomorrow night.

"I wouldn't be surprised at all if he waits until after the state playoffs end to make a decision," Renaissance coach Mark White said. "He's such a competitor that I don't think he's thinking about anything other than the city and state championships right now."

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