Three Heels Named McDonald's All-Americans

Inside Carolina
Posted Jan 29, 2014


For the eighth time since Roy Williams returned to North Carolina, the Tar Heels will have at least two players in the McDonald’s All-American game.

All three 2014 signees – Joel Berry, Justin Jackson and Theo Pinson – were picked to play in this year’s game at the United Center in Chicago on April 2.

The class of 2014 marks the second time under Williams that UNC’s entire recruiting class was selected (2010). Each signee verbally committed before the end of their junior year of high school.

“We are ecstatic that these three young men and their families have decided to join our basketball family,” Roy Williams said. “Each of them are talented, come from wonderful families and share a common trait in that they have a tremendous desire for their teams to do well.”

Berry is Williams’s sixth McDonald's All-American point guard in his 11 years at UNC. He is a two-time Mr. Basketball in Florida, led Lake Highland (Fla.) Prep to its first Class 4A state title in 2013 and took his E1T1 17U squad to an EYBL title last summer.

He’s averaging 25 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.7 steals per game this season.

“Anything and everything I’ve received in my life has been an honor and a blessing, this is no different,” Berry said. “I’m a humble person, but I do think I deserve this for all the hard work and proving of myself I had to do throughout my high school career.”

Williams called Berry “a true quarterback on the floor… a leader and an excellent student.”

Jackson is a 6-foot-8, 203-pound forward from Spring, Texas. He’s the Tar Heels’ highest-rated player, No. 9 overall by Scout.com, since James Michael McAdoo, who was the McDonald's Game Co-MVP in 2011. During his senior season, Jackson is averaging 31.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.9 blocks per game for the HCYA Warriors.

"It's always been a dream for me to make this game," Jackson said. "I've always grown up wanting to make it and to finally have this chance is a huge blessing."

According to Williams, Jackson “has tremendous ability, but is getting better and better."

Pinson is a 6-foot-6, 182-pound wing from High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan. He’s the top ranked player in the state of North Carolina, and last season led Wesleyan to its first NCISAA state title since 1993.

“I know all the best players that have ever played the game have been McDonald’s All-Americans,” said Pinson. “I’m glad to become one also. I always thought I had the talent to make the team, but you don’t really think about being a McDonald’s All-American until it actually gets here.”

During his senior season, Pinson is averaging 22.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

“Theo’s versatility is a big part of his game,” explained Williams. “He can do almost everything on the court and do it well."

Berry and Pinson were also selected to play for USA's 10-man team in the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Oregon on April 12.

UNC has a scholarship offer out to shooting guard Rashad Vaughn, a McDonald’s selectee. He is taking an official visit to Chapel Hill on Feb. 15.

“It’s just good to know that we have three McDonald’s All-Americans going to Carolina next year to help the team win,” said Pinson. “We want to come in and bring a huge impact to North Carolina next year.”

Carolina has had at least one McDonald's All-American selection in 21 of the last 24 years – the only exceptions being 1994, 2003 and 2007. The Tar Heels did not sign a player in the 2007 class.

Justin Jackson Profile
Theo Pinson Profile
Joel Berry Profile



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