Canterbury School two-star shooting guard Berrick Jeanlouis made it clear conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances were his priority in choosing where he’d spend the next four years. He narrowed it down to two mid-major programs with successful track records of bringing home conference hardware.
Jeanlouis opted to head west, choosing New Mexico State over FGCU in a ceremony Monday at the school.
“If I had to narrow it down, the tradition of winning,” Jeanlouis said of his top reason for choosing the Aggies, who have made 24 NCAA appearances, including in 2018. “They know how to win.”
The signing completes a whirlwind two months of recruiting with him being let out of his letter of intent with South Alabama in March following the firing of head coach Matthew Graves, who went 65-96 in five seasons.
The 6-foot-5 athletic specimen was in high demand among mid-major programs this spring. He was drawn to the Aggies’ up-and-down style of play.
“I liked the way when they grabbed the rebound and they pushed it. They play fast which is how I like to play,” Jeanlouis said. “The players just look comfortable playing fast and I like to be comfortable.”
Jeanlouis was in a tough position with the local university in the mix.
“I’m super proud of him because there was a lot of added pressure on him staying here locally playing at Florida Gulf Coast, another great program,” Canterbury coach Darrin Wallace said. “I think this speaks for how far he’s come as a person. Even with all of that he made the decision on his own. He made the decision that’s best for him.”
Jeanlouis, Southwest Florida Christian Academy’s Caleb Catto, who signed with FGCU, and Mariner High’s Jahmel Myers, who inked with New Orleans, form one of Lee County’s most decorated basketball signing classes in several years.
With freakish athleticism and leadership, The News-Press Player of the Year Finalist averaged 17.6 points, 7 rebounds and 4.3 assists a game last season.
Since transferring to Canterbury from Lehigh Senior High for his junior season, Jeanlouis has transformed the program into a state contender. The Cougars reached the Class 3A state finals for the first time in school history where they fell to Orlando Christian Prep.
In track and field, he went from never having high jumped two years ago to winning two state championships in the event. His championship-winning leap earlier this month was 6 feet, 7.5 inches. He also placed third in the state in the long jump.
Jeanlouis’ only regret was that his mother, Gracimene Jeanlouis, who died of lung cancer a few years ago, couldn’t be in attendance. He said she was instrumental in him striving to better himself academically.
“She would have come up to me and said she was so proud of me,” Jeanlouis said. “It would have meant a whole lot to her.”