UNC Basketball: Joel Berry II announces his retirement

DURHAM, NC - MARCH 03: Joel Berry II
DURHAM, NC - MARCH 03: Joel Berry II /

The former UNC basketball standout has decided that it is time to officially retire from the sport of basketball.

Joel Berry II is ready to step away from the sport of basketball.

On an Instagram Live chat with British Tar Heel of Ceiling is the Roof, Berry announced that he is retiring from professional basketball. The 26-year-old is ready to pursue opportunities that exist for him outside of the sport he’s played his entire life.

As he closes this chapter of his story, Berry simply put together an illustrious basketball career that he should be tremendously proud of.

It all started in Florida, as Berry was named “Mr. Basketball” in the state of Florida three times during his high school career. As a five-star recruit, Berry had tons of interest from various college programs, but decided to play for Roy Williams at North Carolina, a school that he grew up rooting for.

Berry played a major role in helping the Tar Heels get to the NCAA Tournament finals in consecutive seasons. After a heartbreaking loss during his sophomore season, Berry took on an even bigger role his junior season.

Despite dealing with injuries to both his ankles, Berry rose to the occasion, helping lead the Tar Heels to win the national championship in 2017. He scored 22 points in the finals, and was named  the Final Four Most Outstanding Player. The Tar Heels point guard also became the first player since Bill Walton to score 20 points or more in back-to-back title games.

Over his four-year career, Berry scored 1,811 points and recorded 451 assists. He earned numerous All-ACC honors, and his No. 2 is honored by North Carolina in the Smith Center rafters.

After his career as a Tar Heel ended, Berry would go on to play in the NBA G-League as well as overseas. However, his basketball legacy will always be remembered in Chapel Hill, as Berry worked extremely hard to become a true legend in UNC basketball history.

Of course, no player wants to walk away from their respective sport. However, at 26-years-old, Berry stated that he is happy with his decision to walk away, as he not only has the ability to make the choice, but can explore other opportunities that life has to offer him.

Over the next couple of weeks, Joel and his wife Kelsey are expecting the birth of their first child. On the Instagram live, Berry stated how excited he is to bring his baby girl to Chapel Hill, as he awaits the day that his daughter can see her father’s jersey hanging from the rafters at the Dean Smith Center.

From the entire Keeping It Heel team, we wish Joel Berry the best of luck on his future endeavors! We thank Joel for all the great memories he had for UNC basketball fans during his time in Chapel Hill!

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