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Incoming North Carolina freshman Kennedy Meeks works to improve conditioning

Jul 27, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

kennedy meeks AP
North Carolina incoming freshman center Kennedy Meeks had a lot of hype coming out of high school. After all, the native of Charlotte was a McDonald’s All-American and one of the most skilled big men in the 2013 class.

But there were also some legitimate concerns about his playing weight and how his conditioning would factor into North Carolina’s uptempo attack. At 6’9″, 285 pounds, it was hard to imagine Meeks keeping up with the Carolina guards.

So Meeks has made it a point to silence the critics and put those questions to rest by hitting the weight room hard this summer and changing his approach to his diet.

According to an Associated Press story from Aaron Beard, Meeks is fully committed to losing weight and his mother said that he’s lost 20 pounds already this summer.

“I’m in too deep now — there’s no turning back,” Meeks told the AP. “… I’m not afraid at all because it’s all going to be a life-changing thing that I have to deal with, that I’m going to accept, that’s going to be my life for a long time.”

Meeks has even gone so far as to get ahold of North Carolina strength and conditioning coach Jonas Sahratian when he has a question regarding his new diet.

Team strength and conditioning coordinator Jonas Sahratian said he is working with Meeks on everything from what to do in the weight room to changes to his diet. During Meeks’ first month at UNC this summer, Sahratian said he got numerous text messages a day from the freshman asking whether it was OK to eat certain foods.
It’s a very positive sign that Meeks appears set to lose the weight necessary to be an immediate contributor for North Carolina. With his soft hands, touch inside and ability to pass, he could be an asset to a team that had a hard time finding consistent minutes in the post late last season.
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