COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Thousands of miles away from Chapel Hill and all of his problems, North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston shook his defender and set up in the corner of a basketball court at the U.S. Olympic Training Center on Monday afternoon.
He caught the pass coming his way, took a breath and released his shot. Swish.
It was a scene that could have been from any of Hairston’s 34 games last season. But alas, the circumstances surrounding Hairston and this particular 3-point bucket vary greatly from his heralded performances of grit and determination in the 2012-13 season.
In a cocoon created by the Colorado Springs-based training center, Hairston practiced with 26 other players selected to try out for USA Basketball’s World University Games squad, set to travel to Kazan, Russia, on July 7 for the week-long tournament.
“I’m not worried about anything,” Hairston said. “I’m just worried about USA basketball and trying to help us win a gold medal.”