James McAdoo, the 6-8 power forward from Virginia who may enroll at UNC a year early, will likely not make that decision until sometime in July, his father Ronnie McAdoo told me this morning.
It wouldn’t be hard for his son to qualify to become a member of the Class of 2010 instead of 2011, McAdoo said – he would need only one online course to graduate early and play for the Tar Heels immediately.
I talked with the elder McAdoo – a second cousin of former UNC player and basketball hall of famer Bob McAdoo – on the phone this morning about the decision. He said he and his wife had talked with UNC’s basketball coaches several weeks ago to discuss the early-jump option.
One important note: McAdoo said he wanted to make everyone understand that if his son jumped, it would only be to begin his college experience a year early. (And if McAdoo did jump, he would have to play for the Tar Heels two years at least according to NBA age restrictions regarding the draft).
“Let me make this clear,” McAdoo said. “The NBA has nothing to do with this. That’s not even being considered. It’s the fact that the opportunity is available. Carolina is short at power forward. At least for Mom and Dad, our intentions would be that he would be there for four years.”
Other comments from Ronnie McAdoo:
** On what’s happening now: “He’s just going through the process now, praying about the ‘Now or 2011’ decision. He only needs one online class to graduate if he does it. He’s an excellent student.”
** On when the decision will be made: “This is not something that needs to be rushed into. He’s been given plenty of time to make that decision and it’s something he probably won’t do until after he comes back from Germany with the U.S. team." McAdoo will play on the U.S. team that competes in the 17-and-under world championships from July 2-11.
** Why the family is considering the move: “With the Wear twins leaving, an opportunity has been made available. After we got that news and knew that Ed Davis was turning pro, we realized that at power forward Carolina didn’t have enough players. So what if he could go early?”
** On whether he and his wife are ready for McAdoo to leave home: “That would be tough, for sure. But my family is from Mebane, so he’d have family almost right there. And he’s only 3.5 hours from us. If that’s what is best for him, than Mom and Dad will support him 100 percent.”
** On Andre Dawkins’ influence (Dawkins also left school a year early to play at Duke this past season, although he had been “re-classified” earlier in his high school career and thus passed on his original plan to play a fifth high school season): “Andre and James are good friends. That has played some part. We have thought to ourselves, ‘What if you could do what Andre Dawkins did?’”
I will be writing a column about James McAdoo on the "Should-he-stay-or-go" topic for Saturday's Charlotte Observer that will also appear online.
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