TOC: P.J. Hairston Spotlight

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Friday night wasn't a memorable night on the basketball court for P.J. Hairston at the Tournament of Champions, but he still had plenty to discuss off it.

Following a 1-for-9 shooting performance during the CP3 All-Stars rout of the Coastal Crew Rebels in their first game of the event, Hairston fielded questions and addressed rumors about his recent decision to transfer from Greensboro Dudley High to Hargrave Military Academy.

"Basically (it's) to get more discipline," Hairston said. "It had nothing to do with grades. I know that's the rumor everyone has been hearing but it has nothing to do with grades... It's to get me more disciplined and get me ready for college, more physical and get my body toned better."

While news of the transfer took many by surprise, it wasn't quite the spur-of-the-moment decision it appeared to be. Hairston said he first thought about the possibility of transferring before the start of his junior year and he and his mother Wendy Poteat revisited the idea this month.

Poteat subsequently contacted Hargrave coach Kevin Keatts and discussed the possibility before coming to a decision.

"She spoke to him for a long time about it," Hairston said. "It's something she wanted. She wanted something better for me as a person and as a basketball player."

Hairston said he expects to be challenged at his new school and thought the experience would make him more prepared to contribute in college.

"I'll have to do whatever they tell me to do," Hairston said. "It's just like a basketball game and your coach. You have to do whatever your coach tells you to do."

Despite his woeful shooting numbers Friday night, Hairston looked more prepared than ever to handle the rigors of military school. Just like the rest of America, Hairston started exercising with the popular P90X training program earlier this month in an effort to shed some pounds and the workouts paid dividends.

Since starting the program Hairston lost 12 pounds, dropping from 230 to 218. While he admitted to skipping a yoga day or two, he said slimming down has helped him attack the basket more effectively.

While Hairston was able to get to the rim consistently Friday night he struggled to finish once he got there.

"I took the ball more to the hole this game, I just wasn't finishing. It just wasn't my night to finish," Hairston said. "Those are shots I've been making, they just weren't falling for me tonight."

Hairston struggled offensively in his opening night at the Tournament of Champions, but his team excelled -- which is something opponents should get used to. With Marquis Rankin, Dezmine Wells and a host of other D-I players, CP3 should have a successful summer. Hairston expects to be one of the main scorers on the team but said the group is good enough that no one needs to be on every night.

"Me, Dez and Marquis are probably the main three players on the team. We try to keep the team together and keep control of the team," Hairston said. "We're not a selfish team at all -- as you can see."

P.J. Hairston Profile


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