« Men’s Basketball 2017-18

Joel Berry II

School

University of North Carolina

Position
Point Guard
Major
Exercise and Sports Science

Classroom

Joel Berry is on track to graduate in the spring with a degree in exercise and sports science.

Character

Last year as a junior, Berry was the captain of the 2017 Tar Heels who won the NCAA Championship. He is the only non-senior to captain a UNC national title-winning team and is a co-captain again this season. He earned Final Four MVP honors in 2017 despite playing on two severely sprained ankles. (He played while injured throughout the last five games in the NCAA Tournament.)

Community

Berry is very engaged when the team participates in activities such as the Holiday Shopping Trip for underprivileged families and the clinic for North Carolina-based Special Olympians.

Competition

Berry is one of two players (with Duke’s Christian Laettner) to earn ACC Tournament MVP honors in one season and Final Four Most Outstanding Player honors in another. He joins Hall of Famer James Worthy as the only Tar Heels to win ACC Tournament and Final Four MVP awards. He is one of seven players in college basketball history to score 20 or more points in consecutive national championship games and the first to do so since UCLA’s Bill Walton in 1972-73. The other players to do that include Gail Goodrich, Lew Alcindor and Bill Russell.

Berry is the only Tar Heel in history to earn All-Final Four honors in two seasons (2016 and 2017). He is one of six Tar Heels to start in two national championship games. He entered his senior season having played in 108 games with 76 starts and is one of 76 Tar Heels with 1,000 career points. He entered his senior year with 1,196 points (11.1), 335 assists and 123 steals, an assist-error ratio of 2.2, had made 173 of 456 3FGs (.379) and 225 of 279 free throws (.806). He scored in double figures 63 times with 13 20-point games, including 22 in the 2017 national championship game vs. Gonzaga and 20 in the 2016 national championship game. He was the Most Valuable Player in the 2016 ACC Tournament, which UNC won. Berry went 5 for 5 from three-point range to tie a school record and scored 28 points against Duke in 2017 regular-season finale.