Jabari Bird Commits to California

by September 06, 2012

Top-20 recruit Jabari Bird has committed to University of California, canceling scheduled visits to Washington, Oregon and Colorado. The 6-6 Bird has a fitting name, as he’s one of the most athletic and high-flying players in the country. Bird’s commitment could have a ripple effect, as he will now try to recruit fellow Californians Marcus Lee and Aaron Gordon to join him and form a super-team. Via the San Francisco Chronicle: “‘We’re after a monster class,’ said the 6-foot-6, 185-pound shooting guard. During his official visit to the Berkeley campus last weekend, the nation’s No. 22 recruit from the class of 2013 brought along his Bay Area pals and national recruits Aaron Gordon (No. 4), a 6-8 forward at Mitty, and Marcus Lee (No. 21), Deer Valley-Antioch’s 6-9 center. Gordon, who many believe is headed to Washington, and Lee were intrigued with the Bears, according to Bird. ‘I don’t think Marcus had shown a lot of interest in Cal, but they’re definitely on his radar now. Aaron will make his own decision, but I know he was impressed.’ Bird had been leaning toward Cal, and the weekend trip solidified his decision – so much so that he canceled trips to his other finalist. He called Cal’s assistant coach and top recruiter, Travis DeCuire, and eventually talked with head coach Mike Montgomery on Tuesday. ‘They seemed real excited about my decision,’ Bird said. ‘The thing is, they recruited me longest and hardest. I felt all along it was the place for me, so there was no reason to prolong it.’ Bird said that his father, Carl, a former Cal standout and Warriors draft pick in 1976, pushed him toward Berkeley occasionally, but that, ‘At the end of the day, he let it be my decision.’ A big part of his attraction, Bird said, was Montgomery. ‘He’s a player’s coach and he knows how to adjust to his talent. If they’re small and athletic, he’ll speed the game up or he’ll slow it down if he has bigs.'”