Harrison Barnes: Star Returning to North Carolina Tar Heels for 2011-2012

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Harrison Barnes: Star Returning to North Carolina Tar Heels for 2011-2012
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The speculation has been crazy about freshman star Harrison Barnes' NBA future. 

North Carolina officially ended the speculation this morning, reporting on their official Web site that Barnes will be returning to school for the 2011-12 basketball season.

Per Tar Heel Blue:

North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes, the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year, will return to the Tar Heels for his sophomore season.

"As an 18-year old, I'm in the early stages of my life journey," Barnes says. "I'm honored and blessed for the chance to play in the NBA. And because of my family, teachers, passion, and work, I have the ultimate dream of one day playing and experiencing a fulfilling career in the NBA.

"Opportunities, both beneficial and life changing, can seem to make the next phase of my journey an easy decision. But I am a student-athlete at the University of North Carolina. I'm here to experience college life, grow as a person, receive a quality education, and be part of the greatest basketball family in college sports.

"The experiences I've enjoyed on and off the court will be invaluable. These experiences will help fuel my journey in the NBA and beyond.

"I look forward to meeting the challenging journey in the NBA, but my decision on November 13, 2009, still holds true. I'm focused on being a student-athlete. And my decision is to continue this part of my journey at the University of North Carolina.

North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes, the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year, will return to the Tar Heels for his sophomore season.

"As an 18-year old, I'm in the early stages of my life journey," Barnes says. "I'm honored and blessed for the chance to play in the NBA. And because of my family, teachers, passion, and work, I have the ultimate dream of one day playing and experiencing a fulfilling career in the NBA.

"Opportunities, both beneficial and life changing, can seem to make the next phase of my journey an easy decision. But I am a student-athlete at the University of North Carolina. I'm here to experience college life, grow as a person, receive a quality education, and be part of the greatest basketball family in college sports.

"The experiences I've enjoyed on and off the court will be invaluable. These experiences will help fuel my journey in the NBA and beyond.

"I look forward to meeting the challenging journey in the NBA, but my decision on November 13, 2009, still holds true. I'm focused on being a student-athlete. And my decision is to continue this part of my journey at the University of North Carolina.

"I am of course excited to have Harrison back on our team next year,' says head coach Roy Williams.

"It has been a true pleasure to coach him and I look forward to coaching him again next season. He had a difficult decision to make. He really had no wrong decision to choose, but I believe he is coming back to school because he enjoys college basketball, he enjoys the University of North Carolina and he enjoys his teammates. If he had decided to leave for the NBA, that would have been okay, too, because he will always be a Tar Heel. But it will certainly be a lot of fun to coach him again." 

 

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