National POY Watch: Joel Berry

National POY Watch: Joel Berry

Gatorade Player of the Year

National POY Watch: Joel Berry


From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Basketball Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.

Joel Berry
Senior guard, Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.)

Greatness Present: So wrapped up in his team’s success in his senior season, Berry didn’t even realize he surpassed 2,000 career points earlier this month, he recently told the Orlando Sentinel.

“It’s a great milestone,” said Berry. “But I tell everybody it’s hard to do something like that without great teammates and coaches. … I want to do whatever it takes to put my team in a winning situation. I don’t want to be just a one-dimension player.”

While Berry is known for his remarkable scoring ability, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior guard is averaging 7.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists to go along with 25.1 points per game for the Highlanders (17-4).

The nation’s No. 15 senior recruit, as ranked by ESPN, he captured MVP honors at the Holiday Invitational last month.

Greatness Past: The state’s two-time returning Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Berry led Lake Highland Prep to the 2013 Class 4A state championship as a junior, averaging 25.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game last season.

Greatness Future: Berry has verbally committed to North Carolina.

Make no mistake: The Gatorade National Basketball Player of the Year races aren’t over, and the National POY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.

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