Five-star recruit Jabari Bird commits to Cal

September 5, 2012, 10:19 pm
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Mike Montgomery has gotten a huge lift as he received averbal commitment from five-star recruit and Salesian High star Jabari Bird.Bird, considered the No. 20 basketball prospect in the nation, chose Cal over offers from Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.Bird, who took an official visit to Cal this weekend, canceled the three otherrecruiting trips he had planned.I just feel like Calis the right place for me. I woke up (Tuesday) and felt like it was time todecide, Bird told the San Jose Mercury News. It was comfortable, like I wasat home.Birds father, Carl, played for Cal in 1975-76, averaging 15.2 points pergame in 1976. Though Bird said his father told him to make the decisions thatwas right for him, Carl Bird told him he hoped Jabari would choose Cal.I probably havent seen my dad this happy in a long time,Bird said.Although Birds commitment cannot become official until theearly signing period begins on Nov. 14, hes already planning on trying to drawother elite talent to Berkeley, including Archbishop Mittys Aaron Gordon andDeer Valleys Marcus Lee.Im definitely trying to get them now. Hopefully they canbe Cal Bears with me, Bird said of two, who joined Bird on his visit to Cal.For the most part, both Marcus and Aaron like the visit a lot. Im just tryingto build on that with them, so I can convince them to come to school with me.Though Bird himself is a major coup for Montgomery, landing Gordon and Lee would beeven bigger gets. ranks Gordon No. 5 in player in the Class of 2013,while Lee is No. 15.Bird, a 6-foot, 5-inch shooting guard, is Cals first five-star recruit since LeonPowe committed to the Golden Bears in July 2003.Bird brings plenty of ambition to Cal and said he wants to restore the program to its former glory."I want to go far and make history because Cal hasn't been looked at as one of the top schools in the country for a long time, since Jason Kidd, really" Bird said. "Hopefully, with my commitment there I can bring some talent and try to make some things happen."Bird, whose coach at Salesian, Bill Mellis, used to be ateam manager at Cal, said part of the reasonhe chose Cal was because he believes Montgomery can help gethim to the NBA.Coach Mellis got me to where I am today, Bird said. Ifeel like coach Montgomery can help get me to the next level.Bird averaged 18.7 points per game last season for Salesian,which won the Division IV state championship. Bird scored 24 points in thechampionship game to help propel Salesian to a 70-56 victory over Price High Schoolin Los Angeles.

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