Less than two hours after UNC head coach Roy Williams offered him a scholarship, Hicks gave the Tar Heels their first verbal commitment in the class of 2013.
“I felt good, like I was just smiling really (when he offered), I couldn’t say anything -- too much excitement,” Hicks said. “He told me that he doesn’t just offer anybody and let me know who in my class he offered. On the ride back home, I was just too hyped. I knew where I was going anyway, so I committed.”
Hicks first informed assistant coaches C.B. McGrath and Steve Robinson of his decision, and then called Williams.
“They were a little surprised because I committed so quick,” Hicks explained. “When I told Coach Roy, he loved it. He said I have potential and that the sky is the limit for me. He told me he didn’t know what position I was going to play because I could grow.
“He just said to keep my grades up and keep working. Before we got off the phone, he said he would call me and check up on me a lot.”
Hicks, a 6-foot-8, 193-pound power forward, is ranked the No. 13 prospect in the Class of 2013 and the top rated prospect in North Carolina by Scout.com. The Raleigh (N.C.) Body of Christ junior was accompanied on the Monday evening visit to Chapel Hill by his parents and Body of Christ head coach Darryl Harris.
"Roy Williams was great," explained Harris. "I was inspired by the things he had to say. He was real, it was awesome.”
"We sat in the office. He talked to us about 25 or 30 minutes about life. He asked Isaiah some questions about the summer and school work. Then he just went right into it. He said 'I'm asking all this because I want to offer you a scholarship. You are a highest priority right now for us.'
Monday’s visit was Hicks’ fourth trip to UNC in the last year. His last visit was in early June, where he got a chance to play pickup with some of UNC’s current team.
“Playing with them was way different than high school,” said Hicks. “I played against Harrison Barnes and those guys are just big and strong. John (Henson) was just blocking everything in sight.”
In previous interviews, Hicks made no secret that UNC was his clear-cut leader and that he would likely commit if offered. The North Carolina staff watched him throughout July, and Roy Williams was courtside for Hicks's near triple double in the Super Showcase 16U title game.
An admitted life-long UNC fan, Hicks said he chose the school because of its academics and litany of players that have succeeded at both the collegiate and professional level.
He chose UNC over North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Miami, Louisville, Kentucky, Florida, Memphis and Missouri.
With his college decision out of the way, an excited Hicks said he has a single focus in the 22 months before he’s scheduled to enroll at UNC.
“I’m trying to improve my game and get better,” he said before pausing and exhaling. “It feels good to be a Tar Heel.”
Isaiah Hicks Profile
Evan Daniels contributed to this report.