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Thursday, October 7, 2010
Oregon scores Jabari Brown commitment

By Diamond Leung

In an offseason for first-year Oregon coach Dana Altman that has included an extra benefits investigation, a canceled preseason tour of Italy and numerous player departures, here's a reminder of why the job was so attractive to him in the first place.

Shooting guard prospect Jabari Brown from Oakland, the nation's No. 22 overall recruit in 2011, moments ago on ESPNU not only gave Oregon a verbal commitment, but also gave Nike co-founder Phil Knight a shout out.

While saying his decision ultimately came down to Altman and the coaching staff, Brown pointed to Knight for the building of Matthew Knight Arena and a new practice facility as one reason for Oregon coming out on top.

"It was definitely a factor," Brown said of the influence of the brand. "I love Nike. I've always worn Nike."

Not to discount Altman ability to close on a recruit like Brown, but it's also Nike's riches that make Oregon an attractive place to play. The construction of Matthew Knight Arena only solidified that notion.

How nice is the new $227 million arena going to be? The home team's shower facility apparently comes with tile imported from Italy.

Whether the palace will be filled during Oregon's down years remains to be seen, but more importantly for the Ducks is that they now know Brown will be there.

After playing for a star-studded Oakland Soldiers AAU team, Brown is off to Eugene next season. If Altman ever needed affirmation for arriving in town himself, this is it.