Rural’s Berry headed to Army to hoop but hopes to leave Topeka with a title first


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Washburn Rural’s Joe Berry has been a big part of the Jr. Blues basketball team since he was a sophomore. His game has elevated as the years have passed and he recently signed on to play college ball at Army. Living out that DI dream at West Point will be awesome, but he’s got unfinished business at Rural to take care of first.

Berry was garnering attention from a few schools but Army had been there from the beginning and from the start, it just felt right.

“They kept in contact with me the whole time, they talked to my family a lot, we did a lot of zooms with them and I felt that really strong relationship with them,” Berry said.

His choice is taking him to as prestigious a school as you can find.

“I mean he’s going to West Point, to me that’s a feather in the cap , that’s a win right there. A win for our program because of what he’s done to represent us. But to go and serve in the military that’s one of the highest honors you can receive as a person,” Rural head coach Kevin Muff said.

He’ll serve for five years when’s schools wrapped up and he’s out of eligibility. It wasn’t what he initially thought he’d be getting into when picking a college, but he says it feels right after mulling it over.

“i’ve been thinking since the beginning, it can be a positive, I’ve talked it over with my family and we really think it’s the right thing for me to do.”

Now that all that is taken care of and the next four years are decided, he can concentrate on the now, one more run with the Jr. Blues.

“It’s a lot easier if we’re not trying to go for offers anymore just trying to win every single game and that’s the focus every single day.”

As Berry goes this year, so will Rural.

“He’s the guy for us and we need him to step up and deliver on both the offensive and defensive end.”

The highlights speak for themselves, he can get a bucket any time they need it. But coach Muff thinks he’s ability on defense gets slept on.

“Really the better part of his game that goes unnoticed is on the defensive end, he’s so long and he anticipates really well.”

Berry played in a state title game as a sophomore but didn’t come away with a bannor. That’s all he and Rural are focused on this season.”

“We’re just trying to get the most wins and get to a state championship. That’s our main goal, we want to win our conference of course, but that’s our main focus right now is getting to state and we got our eyes on the prize.”

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