As the 11th rated player in the nation, 6-6/190 Salesian (Richmond, CA) SF/SG Jabari Bird has all the options a young player could want in potential future programs.
Averaging 18.8 points and†4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 59% from the field (43% from 3), Bird is a silky smooth player with loads of athleticism.
Most scouts feel that Bird has loads of untapped potential and project him to be a future impact player at the next level.
The 5 star Bird is considering four programs at the moment in Cal, Washington, Colorado and Oregon, with Cal and UW holding a commanding lead at the moment.
"I'm considering all four at this point but Cal and U-Dub are my main focus right now," said Bird.
After considering an early signing, Bird's switched up his strategy, preferring to take his time to make sure he makes the right decision.
"Earlier in my career, I thought it was better to sign early," said Bird. "But as I thought about it and talked to my parents and people around me, I thought it best to take my time and wait till the spring, after my high school season."
The local†Bears program†is more than familiar for Bird, having grown up a Cal fan, with his father Carl starring for the Bears in the 70's.†
"I like Cal a lot because it's real close to home in the Bay Area," said Bird. "My dad went there and I'm really comfortable with the coaching staff there. I know a lot of the players real well, too.
"I feel like they've been real consistent for me.
"I always go over to Cal. I think the guy I got to know the most is Richard Solomon.
"Coach Travis (DeCuire), the head assistant coach, has been my main recruiter at Cal. He's pretty cool. I consider him almost a friend because I talk to him all the time. He's cool with me and I'm cool with him. We talk about stuff besides basketball a lot, too, you know? That's cool coming from him. He's been to a lot of my games, too, with some of the coaches. He's been to a lot of my Oakland Soldiers games and if we have a big game at Salesian, he checks us out there, too."
The Huskies are the other main suitor for Bird and though he hasn't had a chance to get up to Seattle, Bird noted they've done a good job recruiting him so far.
"With the University of Washington, their style of play fits mine with the way they run the court. Coach Romar's a good guy. I like speaking with him. And in 2013, I feel like they'll need help at the shooting guard spot."
Even though Bird plans to hold off on his decision till April, that could always be subject to change, with Bird taking†his official visits at the earliest possible dates.†
"I plan on taking all my visits in September," said Bird.
Bird's become fairly close with a trio of Bay Area stars over the past year in Mitty forward Aaron Gordon, Deer Valley forward Marcus Lee and De La Salle wing Elliot Pitts and they've all talked about the potential of playing together.
Bird was surprised to hear of Pitts' commitment to Arizona today but wished the Spartan forward well.
"I've talked to Marcus and Aaron about playing together and they seem interested in it," said Bird. "If I were to commit to Cal, I feel like those two could possibly follow in my footsteps but we've got a long time to go so we'll see."
Bird led his Salesian squad to the state championship in 2011-12, securing an impressive 70-56 victory over Price (Los Angeles, CA) in the state finals.
The Pride will again be prohibitive league and NCS CIF favorites in 2012-13.