For a list of the other Gatorade State Boys Basketball POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Joel Berry
School: Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.)
Position: Point guard
Weight: 195 pounds
Athletic achievement: He led the Highlanders to a 24-5 record and the Class 4A state championship this past season. Berry averaged 25.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.1 steals per game while shooting at 83 percent from the free throw line. Also the 2011-12 Gatorade Florida Boys Basketball Player of the Year, he scored a game-high 21 points with four assists in a 67-50 win over St. Andrew’s (Boca Raton, Fla.) in the state final. Berry averaged 23.8 points per game in four postseason tournament contests.
Academic excellence: Berry has maintained a 3.27 GPA.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally as a peer leader in his school community and as a youth basketball coach and camp counselor.
“Joel Berry is a tremendous player with very high-level skills,” said Don Smith, head coach at Crooms Academy (Sanford, Fla.). “He has a very high basketball IQ which makes him like another coach on the floor.”
THE FUTURE: Berry has verbally committed to North Carolina.