Hazzard Talks Cal

Even though he plays for Jabari Bird's Oakland Soldiers, Max Hazzard actually has another future Bear in his ear as the 2015 contact period opens.

Saturday wasn't the first time that Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola star Max Hazzard has talked about the California Golden Bears, but it was the first time that he's talked with one of the Cal coaches, as the contact period for 2015 prospects officially opened.

"We just talked about how my year went, pretty much, and the kind of player I'm developing into," Hazzard said of his chat with assistant coach John Montgomery.

Hazzard -- who opened a lot of eyes earlier in the summer during the evaluation period -- impressed the Bears coaches at the EYBL tournament in Los Angeles, and has since seen his stock soar, and with good reason.

The 6-foot, 160-pound point guard has good bloodlines, with grandfather Walt Hazzard having starred for UCLA, and he's had to step into some big shoes, filling the starting point guard spot as a sophomore after Parker Jackson-Cartwright went down with an injury, helping lead Loyola to a league title.

"I know they really liked how I defend," Hazzard said. "I'll knock down an open shot, but I'm not selfish. I want to make my teammates better. Really, though, more than anything, I can defend. I can take everybody in the half-court, in the full-court, no matter who it is. I really take pride in it. It gets us going. It gets me going, because once I get a couple steals, I'll hit a three, drop dimes and get to the basket and finish. They really like my whole game, and they like the type of person I am."

This summer, he's also playing for the Oakland Soldiers -- the same AAU program which produced Jabari Bird.

"This is my first year, so I've only met him once," Hazzard said. "I haven't really spoken with him yet, and I will in the future, but I do know Jordan Mathews really well."

Mathews and Hazzard have played against one another four times this past year, and the pair trains together, helping Hazzard form a solid friendship with the Cal signee.

"I know him really well, and he only has great things to say about the program, and about the school, itself, academically," Hazzard said. "he said it would be a great fit for me, and he's really excited."

Hazzard has already been up to Berkeley once, but it wasn't by any means a true visit.

"I went up to Berkeley once, after one of my practices with the Soldiers, but I think I want to go there later this summer or early in the fall; I want to make sure I get to see everything, not just the campus," Hazzard said. "When I went, I was just with my dad, roaming around, without any coaches. I definitely want to go up there, with the coaches, and get the tour, get the full experience."

Even without the coaches to show him around, and even without stepping into any of the buildings, though, Hazzard did give Cal quite the compliment.

"I love the campus; I hadn't been there before, and I love Oakland, so I really did like it," Hazzard said. "It was big, and I loved the trees, and I loved everything that I saw. From what I saw, I really liked it. It felt like I was at home."

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