This week Salesian was on the ropes against cross-bridge rival St. Patrick/St Vincent of Vallejo. The defending state champions were up just two after three quarters. The Pride put the hammer down, though, with Mario Dunn, Markel Leonard, and Jermain Edmonds helping out Jabari in the eventual 15 point win.
But the story of the night may have been Bird's impressive homecoming. It's true he was vital to Salesian securing the victory – but it was his high-flying dunks that kept the home crowd enthused. It wasn't more than 2 minutes into the game when the Cal-bound senior swiped the ball from a Bruin, taking it all the way to the rack for the right hand finish. The roar from both sides of the stands rattled the seemingly small Salesian gym. Each and every dunk that followed, whether it from Bird or SP/SV recruit Jalen Canty, saw an eruption of excitement from the packed stands.
The surge of energy in the back and forth battle created an atmosphere unparalleled in sports-- A tiny gym bursting with energy on a Wednesday night in Richmond. Salesian eventually won 75-60. Bird finished the night with 29 points, and several ridiculous trips to the rim. Another step towards another state title.
Sure, it's not just Jabari Bird that makes Salesian successful. He has plenty of help from a stellar supporting cast, but Bird is one of those special players. In one word: electrifying.