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North Carolina

Hairston: I have a lot of growing up to do

Posted July 10, 2014

PJ Hairston

— For the first time since his most recent round of off-the-court troubles, former University of North Carolina and current Charlotte Hornets guard PJ Hairston addressed the media Thursday, saying that he “has to move on.”

“I’m still in the maturing process and I’m still growing up,” Hairston said. “I still have a lot of growing up to do. Life is life. You are going to make mistakes. This is something I have to move on from again.”

On Sunday, Hairston was issued a criminal summons for assault and battery following an altercation at a Durham YMCA over the Fourth of July weekend where he allegedly punched a 17-year-old during a pick-up game. Hairston’s name also surfaced when his 2015 Cadillac SUV was being driven by NFL wide receiver Josh Gordon. Gordon was charged with DWI and later bonded out by convicted felon Haydn “Fats” Thomas, who is the man at the center of improprieties that led to Hairston losing his NCAA eligibility last winter.

“What I told him the other day is that we need to start having more meetings about his defense or offense or shot selection and less about what it means to be a dependable player,” said Hornets head coach Steve Clifford. “To be honest with you, I’m confident that he will get to that. He’s a good person. I like him, I like the way he works. He’s made mistakes, he knows it, he’s owned up to it. It’s part of his maturation process. At this level, it’s all on him at the end of the day. We have to help him, but he’s a talented enough guy that he can have a good NBA career.”

Hairston, who wrapped up mini-camp with the Hornets Thursday, will head to Las Vegas for the NBA Summer League which starts Friday. Hairston said that he is happy to be playing in games so he can ‘focus.’

“Being here and being in my sanctuary; this is how I focus and stay away from everything,” Hairston said.

Asked if he will be returning to Durham anytime soon, Hairston said, “I don’t have a reason to be back there. I have a job now so I can’t risk my job anymore. I have guys here that I can play ball with so I don’t need to be anywhere else.”

“There’s character and there’s basketball character,” said Clifford. “The guys that do the right things off the floor give themselves a better chance to do the right things on the floor.”

Hairston is due in court Aug. 8 to appear in front of a magistrate for the July 5 incident involving Northern Durham High School’s Kentrell Barkley at the Durham YMCA.

Hairston’s agent, Juan Morrow, said that it is a case of Barkley getting “too excited playing against PJ,” while Barkley make it clear with an all-caps Tweet that read, “I DID NOT HIT PJ.”

“I don’t really depend on anyone else, I depend on myself,” Hairston said. “It’s up to me to move on from this situation. I get advice but I don’t really take it in. I mean, I take it in, but I’m grown now. I’m a man now. I have to take stuff into my own hands."

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  • Super Hans Jul 10, 2014

    Ya think? It's not like you have a successful career ahead of you as a neurosurgeon - you mike want to think seriously about not screwing up the (second) chance you've been given to set yourself up for life.

  • FVHowler Jul 10, 2014

    PJ is poorly equipped to handle everyday life. Cloudy, his future is.

  • I am not who you think I am Jul 10, 2014

    understatement of the afternoon. The young man doesn't have a clue

  • Obamacare for America Jul 10, 2014

    So does his girlfriend, Randi Furrburger.

  • Obamacare for America Jul 10, 2014

    This dunce will be flipping burgers or collecting my trash in a few short years.

  • Steve Faulkner Jul 10, 2014

    Thank you, Captain Obvious!

  • ncprr1 Jul 10, 2014

    It doesn't hold quite as much weight when his statement is written by some press agent, after the fact..."here, don't try to comprehend what this means, just go find a mic and read it"

  • raleighboy524 Jul 10, 2014

    He says the same thing every time about maturing and growing up. Now it's time for him to just shut up, grow up and behave. As I've said before, I have little faith that he can do so. He's repeatedly proved me right. I'm sure he will again soon.

  • keeter Jul 10, 2014

    If only there were a place for young athletes to work on their game, mature and learn about life, while obtaining an education. Such a place would have done wonders for poor PJ

  • landonsgrampa Jul 10, 2014

    Since I don't watch the NBA at all, I may never know, but, I give him 3 years in the NBA, before he is cast out for being stupid. He hasn't played one game as a pro, and already he has this stuff happening.

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