Home Local Sports VIDEO: McNeil Jr. talks commitment to N.C. State

VIDEO: McNeil Jr. talks commitment to N.C. State

Paul McNeil Jr. verbally committed to N.C. State on Sunday. (Kyle Pillar/Christian Collazo)

ROCKINGHAM — With nearly 20 offers on the table, Paul McNeil Jr. said relationship building was the key in making his decision where to play college hoops.

On Sunday night, McNeil Jr. posted four photos of himself dressed in game day uniforms to his Twitter account with the caption #Committed, tagging the North Carolina State University men’s basketball program.

A standout wing at Richmond Senior High School, and the reigning North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year, McNeil Jr. became the newest member of the Wolfpack.

Following the Raiders’ second straight Sandhills Athletic Conference tournament win on Friday, McNeil Jr. traveled to Raleigh for an official visit with the program and head coach Kevin Keatts.

McNeil Jr., who is ranked as the No. 17 player in the class of 2024 according to ESPN’s database, experienced a weekend with the team. 

It culminated in sitting courtside with several of his Richmond teammates for the Wolfpack’s 77-69 win over the University of North Carolina. 

A three-year varsity starter for the Raiders, McNeil Jr. has been the face of the program since his freshman year. He received his first college offer in July 2021 from the University of Tennessee, one of 17 Division I offers he currently has.

The Wolfpack, which competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference, first reached out to McNeil Jr. following his freshman season. Since then, he and the coaching staff have built a strong relationship, leading to his verbal commitment.

On Sept. 25, 2021, McNeil Jr. received an official offer from N.C. State. He went on an unofficial visit last June.


McNeil Jr. fielded offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgetown, Illinois, Indiana, LSU, Miami, Missouri, Nebraska, St. Johns, Virginia Tech and Western Carolina, among others.

This winter, McNeil Jr. has averaged 23.9 points per game, which leads the 4A East entering the postseason. He’s also collected a team-high 8.8 rebounds per game, along with 4.2 assists and 2.4 steals per four quarters.

At 6-foot-7 and 185 pounds, McNeil Jr. is a versatile shooting guard known for his ability to score from all over the floor, including a 40 percent clip from three-point land. 

In December, McNeil Jr. joined the 1000-point club in a win over Southern Lee High School.

Starting his junior year playing for Prolific Prep in Napa Valley, Calif., McNeil Jr. transferred back to his hometown to hopefully finish what the Raiders started — a run at a 4A state championship.

No. 2 Richmond is currently 23-2 this season, on a 16-game winning streak and will host No. 31 Purnell Swett High School in the first round of the state playoffs on Tuesday.

As a sophomore, McNeil Jr. averaged 24.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. He was named the SAC Player of the Year, helping the Raiders to the fourth round of the playoffs for the first time in 25 years.

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Paul McNeil Jr. sits down with The Richmond Observer and explains why he chose N.C. State, while also talking about his official visit, the Raiders’ upcoming playoff run and why Richmond County is important to him.

Note: Video and images used in the interview were contributed by Christian Collazo.

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Kyle Pillar is a 22-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on X @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.