Last weekend, 2014 California point guard commit Ahmaad Rorie took part in a Team USA Select jaunt to Italy, and he wasn't alone.
Fellow Bears target Zylan Cheatham took the floor with the Cal commit, as the Americans played teams from Serbia, France and an all-star team from the rest of Europe.
"Ahmaad's a great kid," Cheatham said on Friday. "Me and him bonded a lot. I actually was tighter with him than a lot of the other kids that I was with. We were just close. Me and him, we got to hang out and talk about it. He talked about how he loves Cal, how they're a loyal program."
The two spent several days in Italy getting to know one another both on and off the court, and seeing the four-star Rorie ply his craft on the hardwood impressed the 6-foot-7 power forward out of Phoenix (Ariz.) Westwind Academy.
"Ahmaad, he was a great leader on the court as the point guard," Cheatham said. "He makes players around him better. It's definitely something I like about him."
After the team's final game, Rorie and Cheatham got a chance to explore the city of Venice, which, Cheatham said, was "hands down" the coolest thing he got to see on the trip.
"It's called the Sinking City, because their streets are actually water. Everything there is water," Cheatham said. "Your transportation is a boat, your fire trucks are boats, your ambulances are boats, cop cars are boats -- I couldn't believe it. It was amazing. That was crazy."
While the two bonded, Cheatham learned about more than just the Sinking City; he learned about the rising fortunes of the Cal basketball program.
"Ahmaad, he's a great person to play with, so him giving me an in-depth description of how it feels to be committed to Cal, it definitely changed the way I think about a lot of schools that aren't as loyal," Cheatham said. "He said that ever since he committed, they stopped recruiting every other point guard, so that's huge to hear from a school, because college is a business."
With invites to the LeBron James Skills Academy and the Amare Soudemire camp, Cheatham is focused on readying for those two events, but after those and the Peach Jam, the four-star prospect will set himself to the task of narrowing down his considerable field.
"It's the last viewing period of my high school career, so I've got to make the best of that," Cheatham said. "After that, it's all business: Starting to narrow my list down and make a decision here, soon."
Cheatham expects to make a visit to Berkeley at some point during his senior year, especially after what he heard from Rorie.
"That's what I'm deciding on, where I go on my officials, so probably some time then," Cheatham said. "I don't really have any weekends available now, so probably then."
Cheatham Bonds with Cal Commit
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