University of North Carolina junior point guard Joel Berry II, the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, is withdrawing his name from the 2017 NBA Draft process and will return to UNC to play for the Tar Heels next season.
“After speaking to my family I have decided to withdraw from the 2017 Draft and will return to Carolina next season,” says Berry. “I know I can continue to improve my game and be better prepared for the NBA after another year playing against the best college competition in the country. There’s no reason to rush leaving school. I love being a Tar Heel and love playing for Carolina and Coach Williams.
My family and I have enjoyed every part of playing at Carolina. I am proud of what we have accomplished in my first three seasons as a Tar Heel and am excited about our team next year, the chance to continue to improve in all areas of the game and the opportunity to complete my education and earn my degree.”
Berry scored a game-high 22 points and had six assists in Carolina’s 71-65 win over Gonzaga in the 2017 national championship game. He became the seventh player to score 20 or more points in consecutive NCAA title games, a list that also includes Bill Russell, Gail Goodrich, Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton.
The Apopka, Fla., native averaged 14.7 points, led UNC with 138 assists and 53 steals and shot a team-high 38.3 percent from three-point range this season. He earned second-team All-ACC honors in 2017 and is the only Tar Heel to earn All-Final Four honors twice.