CHAPEL HILL - 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," Barnes added.
"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," he continued.
"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 ofNorth Carolina.
"As a team, we're preparing for a special season. My off-season plans are to diligently work on honing my basketball skills in all areas with one team-goal in mind -- to bring the 2012 national championship home to UNC."
The Ames, Iowa, native earned second-team All-ACC honors after scoring 15.7 points per game and leading the Tar Heels with 67 three-point field goals.
Barnes averaged 21.0 points in four NCAA Tournament games and set an ACC Tournament freshman scoring record when he scored 40 points in a semifinal win over Clemson.
He was named to the ACC Tournament and NCAA East Regional All-Tournament Teams.
Barnes helped the Tar Heels go 29-8, win the ACC regular-season title and advance to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.