Nolan Berry has been a busy young man since the conclusion of the 2011 high school basketball season.
After a breakout sophomore year at , the 6-foot-8 Berry has been a fixture on the summer circuit with the St. Louis Eagles 16U team, which is one of the top teams in the nation in its age group.
Berry averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds a game to lead the Spartans to a 23-6 record and a berth in the . He clearly established himself as one of the top young players in the state of Missouri last season. Now, Berry’s name is listed among the top players in the country for the Class of 2013.
Thanks to excellent performances at some high-profile events during the spring and summer, one can now find Berry’s name listed among the top 50 players nationally by several national recruiting websites. He is ranked No. 46 in the Class of 2013 by Scout.com and No. 46 in the latest rankings by Rivals.com.
“Everything has been going well so far,” Berry said. “There has been a lot of basketball and a lot of training, but it has been a good summer.”
Berry solidified his national ranking with a great performance at the Nike Elite 100 Camp in June at Saint Louis University. Berry was able to showcase his skills against some of the best high school underclassmen in the country during the prestigious Nike Showcase.
The collegiate interest in the multi-skilled Berry is coming from all over the country. So far, Berry has official offers from Missouri, Purdue, Butler and Loyola of Chicago. He has also made unofficial visits to Notre Dame, Stanford and Santa Clara. Berry has also been on the campus of Saint Louis University, where his grandfather, Easy Ed Macauley, is the greatest Billikens player of all time.
Berry and his Eagles teammates were in St. Charles over the weekend to play in Jerry Mullen’s High Profile High School Tournament. On hand to watch every game that Berry played in was Butler head coach Brad Stevens, who has guided his Bulldogs to the past two NCAA Tournament championship games.
As the recruiting begins to intensify for Berry, he tries to take it all in calmy, as he places his highest priority on improving his already vast array of skills.
“I’m just focusing on playing basketball and having fun,” Berry said. “I think I might like to make my decision sometime before next summer, but I don’t know for sure. I’m still enjoying the process right now.”
What did please Berry was getting an offer from the University of Missouri and first-year head coach Frank Haith. Berry made an unofficial visit to Columbia two weeks ago when Haith extended the offer.
“It means a lot to get an offer,” Berry said. “I’ve been a huge Mizzou fan growing up, so that means a lot to me.”
The month of July is when college coaches can be out on the road to watch and evaluate high school players. Many of those coaches courting Berry will be in Augusta, Georgia next week to watch him play in the Nike Elite Basketball League Peach Jam. It is one of the top national tournaments of the summer season.
“I’m very excited about going to the Peach Jam,” Berry said. “All of the best teams in the country are going to be there, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”