Joel Berry II has won championships everywhere he has gone. Now, he hopes to help a storied NBA team reclaim its greatness.
The Los Angeles Lakers signed Berry, the most notable undrafted free agent on the market, according to 247sports.com.
Berry was a four-year standout at the University of North Carolina and part of a national championship team in 2017. The 23-year-old, 6-foot guard was an All-ACC selection during his senior campaign in 2017-18, averaging 17.1 points and 3.2 assists per game on 39.6 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from beyond the arc. Berry served as the team’s starting point guard since his sophomore campaign in 2015-16 until his senior year in 2017-18.
During North Carolina’s National Championship title run in 2017, Berry posted 22 points and six assists in the Tar Heels’ 71-65 victory over the Gonzaga Bulldogs. He also led the Tar Heels to the 2016 National Championship title game, but North Carolina fell short in a 77-76 loss to the Villanova Wildcats despite his 20-point contribution.
Berry, whose family lives in Apopka, played high school basketball at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando. He led his team to three state titles and was the first player named Florida Mr. Basketball three times. He was named a Parade All-American and McDonald’s All-American as a senior in 2014.
In 2017-18, the Lakers finished 35-47 and missed the playoffs, but in season’s past have won 16 championships including back-to-back titles in 2009-2010. Berry could follow in the footsteps of Laker legend Magic Johnson, perhaps the greatest point guard in NBA history.