Berry gives UNC verbal pledge

Joel Berry picked his dream school on Monday. The Orlando (Fla.) Lake Highland Prep standout committed to Roy Williams and his staff just a day after returning home from his official visit.

Joel Berry has always dreamed of playing college basketball at North Carolina. On Monday the five-star point guard ensured he will realize that dream, as he verbally pledged to Roy Williams and his program.

"It all started off when I was younger," Berry said. "I'm pretty sure you've heard about how they were my dream school. Just watching North Carolina with my parents, I always dreamed of myself out there playing for the Tar Heels."

"I got a chance to get up and take a visit and everything that I dreamed of is what I saw and I really liked it," Berry added."

Berry, who has a host of high major scholarship offers, said Roy Williams recruited him relentlessly.

"I always wanted to go there, but I was still wide open with the recruitment," Berry said. "Also Coach Williams, once he started recruiting me, he just never stopped. He came down and saw me multiple times. He called me and everything. They really wanted me and that's the place for me."

To go with a strong relationship with Williams, Berry said the entire UNC staff stood out to him. Assistant C.B. McGrath was the point man on his recruitment.

"Me and Coach Williams communicated a lot," Berry said. "Even if it was just a text message. We've built a great relationship with each other, especially over the past weekend. It started when he first started recruiting me. Also with his assistant coaches, we built a great relationships."

Berry took an official visit to North Carolina this past weekend. Once he saw UNC up close, he said the decision was a no brainer.

"I like the environment," Berry said minutes after his commitment. "I loved the staff. I loved the school. The school is amazing. I loved the players. On my visit I just felt like that was the place for me."

"I'm very excited," he added about his commitment. "I mean one thing about it is I can go back to being a 17 year old kid."

While on his visit this past weekend, Berry spent time with the Tar Heel team and he said the players opened up to him right away.

"I loved the guys," Berry said. "The guys are very welcoming. They brought me in and they pretty much told me … and I got a chance to really see how Coach Williams is in practice, in games and how he treats the play. They players said all good things about how he treats the players."

Berry is ranked No. 15 overall in the 2014 class by He thinks he fits UNC's style well.

"I feel great that their style of play that they have fits my game," Berry said. "I think once I get there I'll be able to fit in."

Berry is North Carolina's first verbal pledge of the 2014 class.

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