For a while now, Jabari Bird has been seen as a very important recruit for California head coach Mike Montgomery and his staff.
A legacy recruit whose father Carl played at Cal, the 6-foot-5 wing at Richmond (Calif.) Salesian had been to Berkeley several times and completed his official visit over the weekend.
The Golden Bears were seen as the team to beat and Tuesday night Bird confirmed to Rivals.com that he was cancelling his remaining visits and would commit to his longtime favorites.
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Like things tend to with teenagers, Bird changed his mind and announced earlier to his classmates that he was indeed Cal bound.
"It was just hanging out with the team," Bird told Ryan Gorcey of Bearterritory.net. "It was getting to know them a little bit better. I got to be on campus a lot more. I just knew that Cal was the place for me to be."
A shooting guard with athleticism, Bird should be capable of making an instant impact at Cal. He's ready mentally, is as dangerous a pull-up jump shooter as there is in the class of 2013 and he's a driven player.
But, Bird potentially means more to Cal than just one five-star verbal commitment.
It's no secret that Bird has strong relationships with fellow five-star and Bay area bred seniors Aaron Gordon and Marcus Lee.
The duo was on campus with Bird during his visit and the hope is that his commitment can help nudge the high-flying Gordon and shot-blocking Lee in the direction of staying home.
Over the years, it's been proven that Bay Area players are a tight-knit bunch and they love to represent where they are from. Now, three high-level players have an opportunity to do it together, and the best part about Bird if you are a Cal fan or coach is that he has the type of personality others gravitate toward. He's a leader.
Does that mean Gordon and Lee are going to automatically suit up for the Golden Bears? Not at all. Of the two, Lee is probably more likely to stay home at this point.
But, the bottom line is that Montgomery and his staff got the guy that they absolutely had to land. Now, it's time to see just how much sway the senior has with his friends and fellow five-star targets.
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