- Brandon P. Oliver, Reporter, DuckNation
- 0 Shares
After announcing this week that he has four official visits planned for the fall, Jabari Bird (Richmond,Calif/Salesian) decided to hit the beach. It's not all for fun and games, though.
Bird is joined by 23 of the top players in high school basketball for the Under Armour Elite 24 at Venice Beach on Saturday.
The 6-foot-6 shooting guard is focused on improving his game as he prepares for his senior season at Salesian.
"I'm just out here trying to get better. I know I can play with anyone, anywhere but I want to be at the top of my game going into college. I still have another season of high school ball left. That's one reason I will wait until spring to make my decision" Bird said.
Earlier this week, Bird confirmed that he will officially visit four Pac-12 programs. Cal, Colorado, Oregon and Washington are all in line for a visit from the four-star.
Bird, the No. 20 player in the ESPN 100, broke down the four schools that will definitely get a visit this fall.
"With Cal, they have been recruiting me the longest. I have been there so many times since they are so close to me. I feel comfortable there but it would also be nice to get away for a while" Bird said.
Regarding the other schools in the mix, style of play means a lot to an athletic guard like Bird.
"I want to get up and down and utilize my skills the best way I know how. If I can get in the open court and run a bit, then that will help my team because it makes me a bigger threat" Bird said. "That is what I like about Washington and Colorado. Both of them run it up and down the court and get open shots based on their style of play. "
When it come to Oregon, Bird said that he likes the style Dana Altman's club brings to the court each night as well.
"Oregon can run it, too," he said. "They like to get up and down but also play some more half-court basketball. They bring a nice mix that would help my fine tune my game at the next level. I think they are going to run a lot more this year because they have some athletes. My boy D.A. (Ducks freshman point guard) [Dominic Artis] is gonna be running the show up there this season and I expect big things from him and that team."
Bird will visit Eugene on the weekend of September 22nd to take in a Ducks football game and tour the campus and facilities.
"I have heard how great everything is up there. I know D.A. [Artis] likes it and thinks I'll like it too" said Bird, who has had the same top group for nearly a year. "I want to stay on the west coast for sure. I want my family to see me play. It's just where I want to be."
Cal and Washington have long been considered the front-runners for Bird, but along with Colorado, the Ducks remain in the thick of his recruitment. Bird will wait until the spring to make his decision as he wants to wait and see how things play out for each of the schools this coming season.
"I really just want to take my visits, get to know the coaches and the players and watch to see how they do this season. I'm in no hurry. I just want to make the right choice by seeing who will be on the rosters when I get there and how I'd fit in."
Oregon assistant coach Tony Stubblefield is heading up Bird's recruitment for the Ducks.
"Coach 'Stubbs' is real cool, man. We have a good relationship. He has been up front and honest about how they would use me. I can appreciate that" said Bird. "I don't know Coach Altman that well yet. He has been at a lot of my games but we can't talk to coaches at the events. I will spend a lot of time with him on my visit for sure."
Bird will visit Cal on Sept. 1, Colorado on Sept. 8 and Washington on Sept. 29.