CHARLOTTE: PJ Hairston: 'I can't risk my job' by going to Durham - WNCN: News, Weather

PJ Hairston: 'I can't risk my job' by going to Durham

Posted: Updated:
Former UNC guard P.J. Hairston said he plans to stay away from Durham after an altercation in the city attracted negative attention ahead of his rookie season in the NBA. (Charlotte Hornets) Former UNC guard P.J. Hairston said he plans to stay away from Durham after an altercation in the city attracted negative attention ahead of his rookie season in the NBA. (Charlotte Hornets)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -

Former UNC guard P.J. Hairston said Thursday that he plans to stay away from Durham after a series of problems in the city derailed his college basketball career and attracted negative attention ahead of his rookie year with the Charlotte Hornets.

On Monday, the Durham County Sheriff's Office issued a summons for Hairston to appear in court on misdemeanor charges of assault and battery following an altercation at a pickup basketball game on Sunday.

While Hairston has been cautious about commenting on the legal matter, he told reporters Thursday that he didn't "have a reason to be back" in Durham.

"I have a job now, so I can't risk my job anymore; and I feel like now I have guys here that I can play ball with. So I don't need to be anywhere else," Hairston said.

He said that being at the four-day Hornets summer camp has been a "sanctuary" for him and it is "how I focus and stay away from everything."

Hairston's summons comes after 17-year-old Kentrell Barkley claimed in court documents that the former UNC guard "punched him twice in the head" on Sunday during a heated basketball game at the Durham YMCA.

Barkley said Hairston became annoyed after his team had lost several games in a row to Barkley's team, at which point he said Hairston dribbled down the court with his left hand and punched the teen with his other in the head before driving to the basket.

Barkley's account of the incident differs from that of Hairston's agent Juan Morrow, however, who said there was a shoving match between the two players and Barkley "took a swing at P.J. and P.J. swung back."

Still, Hairston admitted Thursday that he's maturing and learning, and the accusations are something he'll have to move on from.

"I'm still growing up and I still have a lot of growing up to do," Hairston said. "Life is life, and you're going to make mistakes."

He added, "I'm grown now, I'm a man. I have to take stuff into my own hands."

Hornets coach Steve Clifford said he is confident that Hairston can bounce back and agreed that the confrontation was part of his "maturation process."

"I think he does understand that at this level, it's all on him at the end of the day," Clifford said. "We should all use every crisis or setback as an opportunity to learn. And that's what I hope that he'll do."

"The more I get to know him and watch him, the more confident I am that being a good player is important to him, that he's got good personal qualities and he's going to figure this thing out."

Although Hairston was North Carolina's leading scorer as a sophomore in 2013, he did not play last year because of a number of run-ins with the law. The school decided in December it would not seek reinstatement from the NCAA for Hairston, thus ending his college career.

In June 2013, Hairston and two others were arrested in Durham on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charges while driving a 2013 GMC Yukon that was rented by Haydn Patrick "Fats" Thomas. The charge against Hairston was later dismissed.

Hairston was also pulled in May 2013 for speeding in a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro that was rented under a woman's name sharing Thomas' home address.

Thomas is a convicted Felon who in November pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a firearm by a felon, drug possession with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia from a December 2012 arrest.

RELATED STORIES

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

  • UNC SportsMore>>

  • Tar Heels hope to improve tackling against Pirates

    Tar Heels hope to improve tackling against Pirates

    Monday, September 15 2014 4:30 PM EDT2014-09-15 20:30:57 GMT
    San Diego State's Ezell Ruffin (3) runs the ball against North Carolina during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. North carolina won 31-27. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)San Diego State's Ezell Ruffin (3) runs the ball against North Carolina during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. North carolina won 31-27. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
    It's hard for North Carolina coach Larry Fedora to know exactly what kind of defense he has.
    It's hard for North Carolina coach Larry Fedora to know exactly what kind of defense he has.
  • Former walk-on Hollins making mark at WR for UNC

    Former walk-on Hollins making mark at WR for UNC

    Thursday, September 11 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-09-11 22:58:23 GMT
    File PhotoFile Photo
    Mack Hollins has suddenly become a big-play receiving threat for North Carolina.
    Mack Hollins has suddenly become a big-play receiving threat for North Carolina.
  • No. 21 UNC holds on to beat San Diego State, 31-27

    No. 21 UNC holds on to beat San Diego State, 31-27

    Sunday, September 7 2014 7:19 AM EDT2014-09-07 11:19:42 GMT
    Make it two rallies in two weeks for No. 21 North Carolina, which erased a two-touchdown deficit in the second half and then held on to beat San Diego State 31-27 on Saturday night after Tim Scott's interception in the end zone with 14 seconds left.
    Make it two rallies in two weeks for No. 21 North Carolina, which erased a two-touchdown deficit in the second half and then held on to beat San Diego State 31-27 on Saturday night after Tim Scott's interception in the end zone with 14 seconds left.
  • Durham CountyMore>>

  • Durham VA listens to veterans' concerns

    Durham VA listens to veterans' concerns

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-09-16 23:05:03 GMT
    Kathleen VolandtKathleen Volandt
    The Durham VA panel on Tuesday included the medical center director and chief of staff.
    The Durham VA panel on Tuesday included the medical center director and chief of staff.
  • Young heart patient's family to donate 'extra money' to others on transplant list

    Young heart patient's family to donate 'extra money' to others on transplant list

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:54 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:54:22 GMT
    Hudson Bond''s father and mother check on the 2-month-old at Duke Children's Hospital. (Hudson's Heart)Hudson Bond''s father and mother check on the 2-month-old at Duke Children's Hospital. (Hudson's Heart)
    A Durham family has surpassed their fundraising goal to help pay for medical bills for their 2-month-old son in need of a new heart.
    A Durham family has surpassed their fundraising goal to help pay for medical bills for their 2-month-old son in need of a new heart.
  • Durham judge calls parents 'idiots,' jails mom for outburst

    Durham judge calls parents 'idiots,' jails mom for outburst

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:05 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:05:18 GMT
    Rishawna Morrison, 31, of Winston-Salem, spent 30 days in jail after yelling and fighting deputies at the end of a two-and-a-half day custody and child support hearing in Durham on Aug. 7.
    Rishawna Morrison, 31, of Winston-Salem, spent 30 days in jail after yelling and fighting deputies at the end of a two-and-a-half day custody and child support hearing in Durham on Aug. 7.
  • Trending StoriesMore>>

  • Report: Nearly 4M fewer people uninsured since Obamacare

    Report: Nearly 4M fewer people uninsured since Obamacare

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:51 PM EDT2014-09-16 19:51:53 GMT

    The first official government report shows 3.8 million fewer people are uninsured after Obamacare kicks in.

    The first official government report shows 3.8 million fewer people are uninsured after Obamacare kicks in.

  • Letter found with body of App State student, police say

    Letter found with body of App State student, police say

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:16 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:16:12 GMT
    The body of Anna Smith was discovered in a heavily wooded area in Boone.The body of Anna Smith was discovered in a heavily wooded area in Boone.
    The Boone Police Department said a letter was discovered with the body of an Appalachian State University student, indicating her death may have been a suicide.
    The Boone Police Department said a letter was discovered with the body of an Appalachian State University student, indicating her death may have been a suicide.
  • 3 Panther Creek students injured in Cary crash identified

    3 Panther Creek students injured in Cary crash identified

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:02 PM EDT2014-09-16 19:02:29 GMT
    Three students from Panther Creek High School were injured Tuesday in an accident involving a SUV and a dump truck.
    Three students from Panther Creek High School were injured Tuesday in an accident involving a SUV and a dump truck.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.