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Hairston says he plans to play in NBDL while taking online class after departure from UNC

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    FILE - In this March 17, 2013, file photo, North Carolina's P.J. Hairston (15) walks downcourt during NCAA college basketball game against Miami in the championship of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C. Hairston says he will play in the NBA Development League. In a statement, Hairston said he submitted paperwork to play in the league Friday afternoon, Jan. 10, 2014. The Tar Heels' leading scorer never played this season after the school decided last month not to seek his reinstatement for NCAA rules violations.(AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - In this Nov. 8, 2013, file photo, North Carolina's Leslie McDonald, left, and P.J. Hairston watch from the bench during an NCAA college basketball game against Oakland in Chapel Hill, N.C. Hairston says he will play in the NBA Development League. In a statement, Hairston said he submitted paperwork to play in the league Friday afternoon, Jan. 10, 2014. The Tar Heels' leading scorer never played this season after the school decided last month not to seek his reinstatement for NCAA rules violations. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File) (The Associated Press)

Former North Carolina player P.J. Hairston says he will play in the NBA Development League.

In a statement, Hairston said he submitted paperwork to play in the league Friday afternoon. He also said he is taking an online course through UNC toward his communications major and turned in his first assignment Thursday.

The Tar Heels' leading scorer never played this season after the school decided last month not to seek his reinstatement for NCAA rules violations, including using rental vehicles tied to a felon and party promoter in Durham.

Hairston said in his statement he is "excited to continue to pursue my degree at UNC while also pursuing my dream of becoming a professional basketball player."

The 21-year-old flirted with entering the NBA draft before returning for his junior season.