Right before football season started, Joel Berry announced that he was no longer going to play basketball professionally. The beloved 2017 national champion and MOP couldn’t get a career going in the NBA, and only played in Turkey for one season before he realized that he wanted to be back stateside. In announcing, he alluded to the fact that he would have other opportunities to pursue, but at the time that’s all we knew.
Meanwhile, another former UNC point guard in KJ Smith had already known his basketball career was done, as he announced over the summer he was going to join the site On3 as a national recruiting analyst. It was an interesting move, and one that was a slight surprise as KJ technically had another year of eligibility, but it was clear that thanks to the exposure he’s gotten from his dad, he was ready to pursue his own path in the media.
Tied by being former UNC point guards, the two will now be tied by another job: analyst for the ACC Network.
Each will appear on a different show. Berry will appear on the weekly show “Nothing But Net,” and Smith will be on “All ACC.” It’s unlikely this will be the only platform that either will ultimately contribute to. KJ, for one, doesn’t appear to be leaving On3, and clearly Berry is hoping the TV appearance will lead to more opportunities at the network. It’ll be fun to have some UNC representation at the network, as it’s been pretty scant since the launch.
Several games for the Tar Heels are scheduled to be shown on the ACC Network, so we’ll see if ESPN decides to give either a chance to get behind the headphones for some color commentary work. Either way, it’s good to have both of these players back in our lives, and we look forward to hear their thoughts on the new era of Carolina Basketball.