“I’m really looking forward to playing against Dudley this weekend and playing against my future teammate in college,” Bullock said. “It’ll be lots of fun playing against him. Hopefully we come out with the win.”
Hairston said of the matchup, “It’s going to be real fun. We are probably going to talk a little junk before the game, but that’s a normal kid thing.”
Over the past two years, Bullock, a 6-foot-7 wing, and Hairston, a 6-foot-6 wing, have developed a bond. They play for the same AAU program – CP3 All-Stars – and they keep up on a weekly basis.
“We became pretty close,” Bullock said. “He wanted to come to Carolina and once Carolina offered him, he made the decision to commit and our friendship grew pretty close within the UNC thing. He’s a good players and he’s the type of kid that Carolina wants.”
“We are pretty cool,” Hairston added. “During AAU season we are always together outside of the games. We talk on the phone probably every week or so. I’m pretty sure he’ll call me before the game on Saturday. I’m looking forward to it.”
This won’t be the first time Bullock and Hairston have matched up. In fact, their two teams met in the past two 3A state tournaments. Two years ago, Bullock’s Kinston (N.C.) High team knocked off Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley in the semifinals, 68-51.
Last year the game was much closer, as Hairston led all scorers with 29 points. But that wasn’t enough. Behind Bullock’s 28-point effort, Kinston knocked off Dudley 67-64 in the quarterfinals. It was a head-to-head battle, with stellar performances from each, that left those around the state buzzing.
“Hopefully he’ll come out ready to play,” Bullock said. “I’m looking at it as an alumni game basically. We are playing against each other and there should be a good crowd there. Hopefully we put on a good show.”
Bullock, who said he plans to guard Hairston for most of the game, has Kinston off to a 10-3 start and is averaging nearly 23 points a game.
“I’ve been playing good,” Bullock said. “I’ve led my team to a couple of victories. I’ve picked up my offensive game and points wise, as well as my defensive rebounding. I’m just trying to be an all around team player.”
Hairston is putting up over 29 points per outing, including a 53-point effort.
“I think I’ve done real well,” Hairston said. “I said last year that I was going to come out and play way harder than I did during my 9th and 10th grade year. I told my coaches that I was going to be a totally different player this year and I guess that worked.”
Kinston and Dudley will tip off Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Smith Center (with the doors opening at 6 p.m.). Tickets are general admission, priced at $10, and are available through the UNC ticket office.
Fans of Dudley and Kinston will be wearing school colors, and UNC fans are encouraged to wear Carolina Blue.
Reggie Bullock Profile
P.J. Hairston Profile