On Friday at Lakeside High School, Panthers’ basketball standout Sam Powell officially committed to play for Division III Berry College (Mount Berry, Ga.).
It was a banner year for the Panthers’ forward. He averaged 14.8 points and 8.8 rebounds-per-game, leading the team to a 19-7 mark and its first state tournament berth. He was the 2013-14 Region 2A-AAAAA Player of the Year, first team All-Region 2-AAAAA and topped 1,000 points for his career. Powell will be a part of the Berry coaches’ first recruiting class, currently totaling eight, with those arriving with Powell also sporting impressive credentials.
“They’re bringing in a bunch of new players so I think they’ll be pretty good,” said Powell. “I’m excited because of that. I feel like we’ll have a good year, a good program.”
Powell visited Berry before the high school season started, but there were other institutions to consider.
“There were a lot in the mix and I liked different schools for different reasons,” said Powell, who added that Berry had everything he was looking for. “I loved the campus, the school is a great school and then the basketball coaches I really liked.”
Panthers’ coach Jody Hilley is sad to lose Powell.
“He’s probably one of the best kids I’ve ever had the privilege of coaching. You never had to worry about him on or off the basketball floor.”