November 13, 2013

Berry inks with Tar Heels

The day has arrived for Joel Berry to sign his national letter of intent to play basketball at The University of North Carolina and THI caught up with the 6-1 senior point guard to gauge his emotions on the big day.

Berry said that the plan is in place for a day to remember at his high school near Orlando.

"Our school is having a little ceremony and it's going to be nice. It's not just for me though, we actually have a lot of people signing for a lot of sports," he said. "The local media is coming out and filming it and everything. That's pretty much it."

Berry says the process is official and that a certain protocol has to be followed when it comes to making his signature official.

"I will sign it around ten o'clock and my school will fax it into North Carolina for me. You have to sign another one and actually send the actual paper to the school too. So after we fax it, we will send the actual paper to North Carolina in an envelope that they provide for us and send it Fed Ex."

As Berry reflects on his high school days and where he is, at this point in his basketball career, he talks about it with great admiration.

"It's mind-blowing actually because four years ago, I had just started high school and now here I am signing with UNC. It's just such a blessing to be able to sign. A lot of kids don't get an opportunity like this and for me it's the school that I have always dreamed of. It's such a prestigious program. I know how blessed I am to be able to do this," he added.

Berry will kick off his senior season on November 22nd and he says that despite the fact that his collegiate commitment is out of the way -- he's going to keep on pushing and playing with fierce determination and desire.

"A lot of people are expecting me to come out and and take it easy, but I'm going to come out and play as if I am still trying to get my first offer," Berry added.

As a token of his efforts, Berry recently had an injury that kept him out of the USA mini-camp in Colorado Springs last month, where he was scheduled to attend.

"The reason I couldn't make (USA camp) was that I had actually collided heads with another guy in practice and I was pretty shaken up. I had to get four stitches above my right eye and I had a bad headache. They didn't want me to travel out there by myself after that," said Berry.

Berry said there are no lingering effects from the collision and that the stitches have been removed.

And now, he's officially a North Carolina Tar Heel. And a battle-tested one.


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