Hairston Focused on Improvement

CLEVELAND --- The circus of the July evaluation period means little to P.J. Hairston. He's got a different set of goals this summer.

After leading the NBPA Camp a few weeks ago, Hairston was one of the top scorers at last week's King City Classic.

"It's a great experience," he said. "I'm out here playing in front of one of the best players in the NBA (LeBron James). To have him watching you, it motivates you. You come out and play hard and maybe he'll say something and motivate you even more."

Hairston was also playing in front of his future coaches, as Roy Williams and his assistants watched every one of his games at this two-day event.

Among the many lessons Hairston has learned from the camp is the value of practicing hard.

"You always take what you use from practice. If you use it in a practice, use it in a game. It may work, you never know," Hairston said. "So when you practice, practice like you're playing in a game."

Among the things Hairston has been working on lately include driving to the basket and developing his mid-range jumper.

"Basically getting to the hole, that's the main thing I've worked on this summer and it's been working out for me," Hairston said. "Most of my points this summer have come from getting to the rack and finishing. That's what I've mainly been working on along with my mid-range game and everything else."

Without the motivation of earning scholarship offers, Hairston has still found something to keep him going and playing hard throughout July.

"I want to get an invitation to the Global Challenge," he said of the August event in Portland. "I would like to play in that," he said.

Since he is already committed to North Carolina, Hairston has now gone to work doing a little recruiting of his own during the King City Classic.

"I was actually messing with Rodney Purvis a little bit in the hotel room," Hairston said. "I told him Coach (Williams) is going to be here to watch him and he looked at me, smiled, and shook his head."

When asked what player really impressed him, Hairston came back to the 2013 guard from Raleigh.

"There are a lot of great players here - If I'd have to say, I'd have to say Rodney," Hairston said. "He's the youngest guy out here and he's playing like he's our age."

P.J. Hairston Profile


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