GREENSBORO, N.C. -- He's been the talk of Chapel Hill since the summer. But he's been the talk of Greensboro long before that. Before P.J. Hairston was a college basketball star, he was a high school star.
Over the summer, our hometown boy ran into trouble and now he's very far from home.
WFMY News 2's Liz Crawford talked to P.J. via Skype. He's playing in the NBA developmental league for the Texas Legends.
P.J. recalled a conversation from two months ago when Coach Roy Williams told him he was done. It came after a summer full of off-the-court drama.
"When he first told me, I was, I mean, I cried of course, because basically he told me that was the end of my college career," said Hairston.
In May, Hairston was cited for speeding. In June, it was possession of marijuana and driving without a license but those charges were dropped. Both times he was driving a rental car linked to convicted felon, Hayden "Fats" Thomas.
"The type of person I am, I don't really care how people feel about me because deep down, I know who I am as a person,"said Hairston.
P.J. Hairston led the Tarheels in scoring last season with 14.5 points a game. He drained 89 three-pointers, the second most in UNC single-season history.
"Of course I wanted to stay in college, play college ball but I mean at the end of the day, decisions were made. I had to move on."
P.J. said he misses the Carolina environment most.
"The crowd and the atmosphere, and just the students there, the love they have for the basketball team, how hard they cheer no matter who we're playing."
P.J. is still taking online courses at Carolina while he plays for the Legends. He said the hardest part of the D League is getting used to the traveling. After this season, he says he'll enter the NBA draft.
WFMY News 2 reached out to the University of North Carolina. They declined comment and said P.J. can speak for himself.