The Bears got off to an early start with their 2018 recruiting class, securing a verbal commitment from 6'0" Folsom combo guard McKenzie Forbes on her visit to Cal last weekend.
"The weekend was awesome," said Forbes. "We went down there on Friday and drove back-and-forth on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
"My teammates were there from Arizona (Select) (Caitlyn Bickle and Taylor Chavez) along with (2017 Cal signees) Kianna (Smith) and Alaysia (Styles), so that was really cool to experience with them. That made it really special when I committed. I was super happy that my teammates could be there when I committed along with Kianna and Bird (Styles). We've become good friends, too, during the recruiting process.
"The team has always been very loving with me and my family when we've visited.
"It was a great weekend and it definitely couldn't have ended any better."
Forbes' commitment was captured on video and shared on twitter (see below), showing the team explode with excitement and congratulations for the newest future Bear.
"Oh, it was incredible, almost indescribable," said Forbes. "They made me feel so welcome by their reaction.
"That's honestly a big part of the reason I chose Cal -their family atmosphere the players and the coaches share. I just love that about them."
Forbes, rated 40th overall nationally by ESPN/Hoopgurlz established a comfort level quickly, not just with the players on the team and future Bears Smith and Styles, but also with the staff.
"I think a big thing with me that helped put Cal on top is I have a great relationship with all the coaches -Coach Lindsay, Coach Kai, Coach Charmin, Coach Dale," said Forbes. "They're all great. They all know so much about me as a person, not just as a player. I really like to have that relationship with all of them separately but also a staff and with the team. They just did a great job getting to know me. I really respect that about them."
The athletic 4 star guard comes with some special athletic genes, as father Sterling "Smooth" McKenzie toured with the Harlem Globetrotters for 10 years.
The talented guard has managed to pick up some of her dad's tricks, even defeating him in a ball-spinning challenge recently, where she was able to outlast her dad by spinning a ball on her finger for more than four minutes.
"I've been playing as soon as I could dribble a ball, pretty much from the start," said Forbes. "That trick was probably the only thing I could beat him in, though. Everything else, he still has more skills than me. I took that one with pride, though."
Forbes grew up playing on the same teams as her brother Mason -both basketball and tackle football- and are very close. Older brother Max played with Mason as a senior last season and her oldest sibling Marcus attends Occidental College.
"My family is really happy with my commitment to Cal. They were all super-excited to be a part of the commitment process and to be there with me when it all happened. They're very proud of me and it's get to have that kind of support.
"They're going to be at Cal a lot -more than we've already been there."
Beyond the comfort level Forbes has with Cal's current players and staff, Forbes has the advantage of being well-acquainted with incoming 2017 recruits Smith and Styles -also fellow Top 50 national recruits.
"It's just awesome to know that before I get to Cal, I already have girls that I know and like that will join the team ahead of my arrival, not to mention the girls already on the team," said Forbes.
"I've been playing against them (Smith and Styles) in AAU. Then to get to play with them in the future is just awesome."
Forbes would also like to see Arizona Select teammates Taylor Chavez and Caitlyn Bickle join her at Cal but won't push too hard.
"It was really special to have them with me at Cal when I committed and I know they liked it there," said Forbes. "They both have some good options so I don't know what they'll do but I'd love to have them join me at Cal, too."
As for where she fits in, the versatile Forbes defers to the Cal staff as to her future position.
"I know I'm going to come in and play some combo guard," said Forbes. "I think I'm a little bit like Mikayla (Cowling), where I can move around wherever they need me when I get there."
With Cal's emphasis on student athletes' academic success, Forbes will fit right in at Cal with her current 3.8 gpa.
The earliest Forbes will be able to sign is the early signing period in November 2017. Both 2017 commits Kianna Smith and Alaysia Styles signed with Cal on November 9th.
The Bears beat out finalists Stanford, UCLA, Tennessee and Louisville for Forbes' services.