Kennedy Meeks and P.J. Hairston recently competed with Team CP3 in TBT 2019, a $2 million winner-take-all tournament that features many former college basketball standouts. The two played integral roles for head coach Chris Paul, but the team’s run was cut just short of the quarterfinals.
Their first game ended in dramatic fashion with Hairston hitting a difficult three to break a 76-76 tie and send Team CP3 to the next round.
Hairston finished the contest with 13 points on 4-11 shooting and 3 rebounds while Meeks added 15 points on 7-14 shooting and 7 rebounds. After the game, both players took the podium along with Chris Paul for a surprisingly emotional interview.
“I haven’t played organized basketball in three years. This right here, this was amazing.”— TBT (@thetournament) July 20, 2019
Team @CP3 forward @hairston_pj opens up after an emotional win on Friday night in Greensboro. pic.twitter.com/IOSpM85a90
Hairston appears to be very grateful for the opportunity to play basketball again, however short it may be. For those who may not remember, Hairston decided to announce his official retirement from basketball around this time last year. His talent on the court has long been overshadowed by his propensity for getting into trouble, which is exactly why his career at UNC was cut short.
Hairston was suspended from the team between his sophomore and junior years at Carolina. The university ultimately decided not to reinstate him and, though no exact reasoning was given, it’s largely assumed it had something to do with his connection to Durham felon Haydn “Fats” Thomas. Currently, Hairston is facing three charges, one of which is assault on a female, for an incident that occurred during September of last year. Based on his emotional press conference, maybe this tournament could be what turns things around for Hairston.
As for Meeks, he has bounced around in his two years since leaving Chapel Hill. He spent his first professional season playing for the Toronto Raptors G League team, Raptors 905. This past season, he played for a Japanese professional basketball team, Seahorses Mikawa, located in Kariya, Japan. Most recently, Meeks got some run for the Charlotte Hornets’ summer league team, but his basketball future remains uncertain.
Meeks and Hairston carried over their momentum from a thrilling opening round victory to help Team CP3 take down Power of the Paw (Clemson Alumni), 73-68, in round two. However, their quest for the $2 million was brought to a close yesterday in the Greensboro regional final at the hands of Team Hines.