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Ex-North Carolina star P.J. Hairston to join NBA D-League

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P.J. Hairston could have been North Carolina’s biggest offensive weapon this season, instead he’ll probably see his first action on the court this year in the NBA Development League.

"I am pursing an opportunity to play basketball in the NBA's Developmental League, and submitted my paperwork this afternoon," Hairston said in a statement, according to the Associated Press.

Hairston, a 6-foot-6 guard who led North Carolina in scoring as a sophomore, had not appeared in a game for the Tar Heels this season while the school investigated possible NCAA violations.

In December, North Carolina announced it would not seek Hairston's reinstatement, ending his career as a Tar Heel.

Hairston’s NCAA eligibility came into question after he was cited for speeding while driving a rental car tied to a Durham, N.C., party promoter and convicted felon during the summer. He was later arrested on suspicion of possesion of marijuana and driving without a license while operating another rental car connected to the same individual.

"P.J. made mistakes and I was very disappointed by his actions and now he is suffering the very difficult consequences,” Coach Roy Williams said in a statement. "He is not a bad kid; he just made some mistakes."

Hairston averaged 14.6 points per game last season while hitting 89 three-point shots, good for second-most in a single season in North Carolina history.

Hairston cannot be called up to the NBA because he did not declare for the 2013 draft. He’ll now have to prove he has NBA-level talent and maturity in the D-League before the 2014 draft.

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