CHAPEL HILL – North Carolina’s James Michael McAdoo said Thursday he’ll return to school for his sophomore season instead of entering the NBA draft.
In a statement from the school, the 6-foot-9 forward from Norfolk, Va., said he had several discussions with his family and coach Roy Williams before making the decision.
“Every young basketball player wants to have as much information about his future and understand what others in the game think about him,” he said. “It’s been interesting to learn the information that Coach Williams has gathered, but I am ready to continue as a Tar Heel.”
McAdoo averaged about six points and four rebounds, though he improved significantly with more minutes after junior John Henson missed three games late with a sprained left wrist.
He averaged nearly 11 points in his last seven games, including 15 in the NCAA regional final loss to Kansas.
He was regarded as a possible first-round pick when he entered college. His father, Ronnie, had said last week that his son had “every intention” of returning to school and just wanted to review his options.
On Thursday afternoon, Ronnie McAdoo said the family was “relieved and excited” because they hoped he would return.
“There were a couple of days where we really weren’t sure,” said Janet McAdoo, James Michael’s mother and Ronnie’s wife. “It was very important for Ronnie and myself for it to be James Michael’s decision. He’s the type of young man who if we said, ‘You’re not going pro, you’re going back to UNC,’ he probably would’ve done it. That’s not how we wanted it to go down.”
Both parents played in college at Old Dominion and played professionally overseas.
“One of the things I said to him is, ‘I met your mom in college. Don’t be in such a hurry to get out of school,’” Ronnie McAdoo said.
The Tar Heels are losing four starters from this year, including NBA early entrees Henson, Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall. McAdoo will take on a larger role on a guard-heavy roster that includes returnees Reggie Bullock, P.J. Hairston, Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald.