"I did it," Hairston told InsideCarolina.com minutes after making the commitment to Roy Williams. "I'm going to be a Tar Heel."
Hairston, a 6-5, 215-pound rising junior shooting guard from Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley, has been building a relationship with North Carolina for quite some time. He took a bunch of unofficial visits to Chapel Hill over the past year and has spent a considerable amount of time around the UNC coaching staff.
On Sunday evening, the UNC staff took the next step in the relationship by offering him a scholarship, which came by way of a phone call from Roy Williams.
"Sunday night I told him I was going to call him back Monday evening sometime because he was on vacation," Hairston said. "I gave him some time to get back on vacation and I was just thinking about what I was going to do."
On Monday evening, Hairston decided to call Roy Williams back and become a Tar Heel.
"I talked to him for a second and I said ‘Coach I told you I was going to call you this evening.’… I told him I had some good news for him. I told him, 'I think I’ve made my decision.'
He said, 'Well do you want me to guess or do you want to just tell me?' He goes ‘Are you going to Gonzaga’ and I said ‘No.' Then he said, 'Are you going to Indiana?' and I said 'No, but you are getting closer.' Then he said 'Are you going to West Virginia?' and I said 'No.' Then he goes 'Are you going to North Carolina State?' and I said 'No, it’s right around the corner.' Then he said 'Are you going to be a Tar Heel?' and I said 'That’s what I want to do.'"
Hairston chose the Tar Heels over finalists Florida, Memphis and Wake Forest. Schools also showing strong included Arizona, Duke, Georgetown, Indiana and Maryland.
"I had a connection with them," Hairston said of why he chose UNC. "I was really getting along with the players, too.
"The campus was beautiful. It’s just a great place to be and they showed a lot of love towards me when I went there"
Hairston, who is ranked the No. 3 shooting guard in the 2011 class and No. 19 overall, is the first commitment for North Carolina in the rising junior class.
"It’s just exciting to know where I’m going," Hairston said. "It’s just exciting. I don’t even know how to explain it."
Hairston has already shared the news with his future teammates, 2010 UNC commitments Kendall Marshall and Reggie Bullock. Hairston and Bullock have developed a close friendship over the past couple years.
“Reggie was real excited," Hairston said of Bullock's reaction upon hearing the news. "He said he can’t wait to be my teammate.”
While Hairston and Bullock are excited about their careers in Chapel Hill, their future coach was emotional about the evening's developments.
“He actually kind of choked up when he was on the phone with my mom,” Hairston said of Roy Williams.
P.J. Hairston Profile