This past Wednesday, I had the opportunity to converse with Jeremiah Francis, who has committed to play basketball for the University of North Carolina. Francis, a point guard, is rated as a four-star prospect and will be a senior this fall at Pickerington Central High School. During my conversation with Francis, we discussed what prompted his decision to commit to the Tar Heels, as well as what he hopes to accomplish in Chapel Hill and beyond.
Jeremiah is a natural born competitor, and North Carolina fans will be lucky to have him as their point guard in the years to come. In our interview he stated: “I want Tar Heel nation to remember me as a winner.” It seems like this attitude is hard to find in a high school senior anymore, so hearing his winning mentality and pride for the people around him was refreshing. Here is our full conversation:
Griffin Hill: Was the decision of choosing UNC altered at all by the commitment of Sterling Manley (His former high school teammate who will be a sophomore at North Carolina)? Also, would you consider the decision more heavily weighted on what you wanted for a college basketball experience, or what will be able to get you most ready for pro ball?
Jeremiah Francis: Yeah, Sterling played a huge part into it and helped me understand how it is during the off-season and during classes. I believe if you are ready for the NBA you should be able to go ahead and go chase your dreams, but I am not taking anything away from the college basketball experience because a lot of my college friends say they love it.
GH: Is there a former player at North Carolina you feel like your game relates to the most?
JF: Yeah, there are a couple. Raymond Felton & Ty Lawson. Coach Williams said I remind him of those players, specifically how they play hard on both ends.
GH: As you mentioned, your play on both ends is exceptional, and your defense obviously sets you apart from the majority of guards, but are there any other parts of your game that the Tar Heel staff really fell in love with?
JF: Just how I am a leader and a driving penetration point guard. I get my other teammates involved and put them in a place to be successful.
GH: These days a lot of people are discussing whether players should be paid. A lot of allegations are hanging over numerous big name schools surrounding players getting paid to play. How can you weigh in on that situation? Basically, what do you think?
JF: I believe college athletes should get paid, just for representing the university. I also believe they should let players go straight from high school if they are physically and skillfully ready for the NBA.
GH: What you think you have to work on most between now and when arrive at North Carolina to get you ready for ACC basketball?
JF: Most definitely getting my jumpshot more consistent and also becoming more athletic for the ACC. It’s arguably the best conference in the whole country, so those are probably the two things I am working on most.
GH: As far as your future as a Tar Heel goes, have you set aside any specific goals for your college career?
JF: Obviously, to win a national championship. All other goals revolve around just being a winner in Tar Heel blue. I want Tar Heel nation to remember me as a winner.