Photo courtesy of AP
CHAPEL HILL — While PJ may be the Tar Heel snagging all the headlines these days, there is another Tar Heel who says he’s determined to make all his noise on the court.
An incoming freshman, Kennedy Meeks, said he’s working hard to get in the shape of his life before he begins his first season at Carolina. In fact, the AP reports that Meeks has already lost 20 pounds this summer according to his mother, Nakhia Meeks.
Head coach Roy Williams said he has high expectations for the McDonald’s All-American. But the hard work in preparation for the 2013 season started early for Meeks.
Team strength and conditioning coordinator Jonas Sahratian said he is working with Meeks on everything from what to do in the weight room to changes to his diet.
During Meeks’ first month at UNC this summer, Sahratian said he received numerous text messages a day from the freshman asking whether it would be fine to eat certain foods.
Meeks appears to have plenty of motivation to put in the extra hard work. He told the AP he thinks the payoff will be well worth it.
“I think I can be polishing everything,” Meeks said. “Nobody’s a perfect player. But I think once I get my conditioning in check, then I think my moves will be there. I’ll be able to run the floor just like everybody else, and faster. As far as coming in the post, I think I’ll be stronger. I’ll be thinking faster, reaction time will be faster. I think all of it will come once I work with Jonas.”
Meeks, 18, was a three-time AP all-state pick and led West Charlotte to a Class 4-A state championship, pulling down 19 rebounds in the 2011 title victory then following with 21 more in the 2012 final. He chose North Carolina over Georgetown in November.
And the young North Carolinian appears to be off to a positive start in his career at Chapel Hill.
“I think over this next (few) months until the first game of the season, I think I’ll be in the best shape of my life,” Meeks said. “And I’ll do whatever they need me to do.”