Joel Berry does his best work on the Smith Center court.
The North Carolina senior guard figured it was as good a spot as any to propose to his girlfriend, Kelsey Porter.
So Berry told Porter, also a senior at UNC, to meet him at the Smith Center on Saturday. He pretended he had lost something when she got there.
“Can you just tell what you’re looking for, so I can help you?” Porter asked Berry.
He knelt down in the middle of the court and asked her to marry him. She said yes.
“The biggest thing is it’s about her being happy,” Berry said.
The plan is to get married next summer, Berry said.
High-profile engagements have been a recent trend for UNC basketball players. Star guard Marcus Paige got engaged after his senior season in 2016. Star forward Justin Jackson got engaged last April, two weeks after UNC won the national title.
Berry joked he was just following the trend but said the timing was right with the season and his college career coming to an end.
“I want her to go wherever I go,” Berry said.
Berry said his teammate Theo Pinson would be his best man. Pinson joked that Porter had been cutting into the roommates’ video game time.
“You know, he’s got a wife now,” Pinson said. “So, he don’t got time for your boy no more.”
After Berry punched a door after a loss in NBA2K in October, and injured his right hand, that might not be a bad thing.
Pinson even said he has noticed Berry smiling more this season. The two had a lot of good-natured laughs about Berry’s pending nuptials on Monday.
“Who would have thought our last press conference would be about you getting married?” Pinson said.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio