Editors Note: With great pleasure I’d like to introduce you to Bryan Finlayson who is trying out here at Keeping It Heel to become a new staff writer.
North Carolina basketball doesn’t start until November, but that doesn’t mean the Tar Heels aren’t at work. UNC may not be playing over in Europe like their counterparts over in Raleigh, but you’ll find a lot of the varsity players playing in summer tournaments and show case events such as the North Carolina Pro Am.
PJ Hairston among others, is playing in this tournament. And Wednesday night, he had every UNC fan forget about his lackluster freshman season. PJ took the court for his team in a quarterfinal playoff game and led the way to victory with 49 points. Yes you read that correctly. PJ outscored his season high against South Carolina a year ago by a whopping 30 points in this game. I know that the competition he faced while playing for the Heels was a little tougher, but either way you slice it, scoring 49 points is hard to do.
The notable part of the game, that has spread like wildfire over the internet and even landed on SportsCenter’s top 10 plays at number six, was his dunk over former UNC great and current Brooklyn Nets player Jerry Stackhouse. For those of you who haven’t yet seen the dunk of legend, or for those of you have watched it on replay over and over like myself, I’ve posted the link below at the bottom of the post so that we can all constantly marvel at how awesome it was.
We knew that Hairston coming in could shoot the long ball and at a broad 6’6” 220 lbs., we knew that Hairston could out muscle a lot of players at his position. Hairstons athleticism and ability to finish at the basket was no secret either. The obvious problem, the vast majority of these talents were in hiding during his freshman season, it’s nice to see him pull them out of the closet and playing with confidence this summer.