One-on-One with Ivan Rabb

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Five-star Ivan Rabb sat out his final home game at Bishop O'Dowd, but gabbed with BearTerritory afterwards about the Bears, his recent unofficial to Berkeley and the contrast between Cal and Arizona.

OAKLAND, Calif. -- 2015 five-star prospect Ivan Rabb sat out his Senior Night game on Tuesday against Berkeley (Calif.), and he his Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O’Dowd didn’t miss him much, pounding the Yellow Jackets by more than 25 points.

“My foot is a little sore,” said the 6-foot-10 senior. “They want me to be healthy for playoffs.”

The Dragons finish the regular season 19-4 overall, and are expected to be a high seed in the coming playoffs, where they’re also expected to make a deep run to the state title.

Rabb, though, will have more on his mind this spring, after the playoffs, as his decision date looms. One of the constants in his recruitment has been California, with head coach Cuonzo Martin attending nearly all of Rabb’s games, and Rabb making a visit of his own to Berkeley to watch the Bears take on Arizona.

“I just came to watch the game, and it was really exciting,” Rabb said. “I’m glad I got to bring my teammates with me. We had a good time.”

After that loss, Cal ran off five straight wins, before running into No. 11 Utah on Sunday.

“Even before that game, I saw that they were getting better,” Rabb said of the Bears. “Everybody looks bigger and stronger from last year. Everybody’s made leaps and bounds in their games from last year. I’m happy to see that. That means they’re doing something right, and that might be something I want to be a part of.”

Of course, that game also told him a lot about the Wildcats.

“Coach Sean Miller’s done a good job recruiting all those guys,” Rabb said. “He’s built a really good team, and the team that he has definitely takes advantage. They have good chemistry and everything, and I would just say it’s different, because Cuonzo, it’s his first year. Sean Miller’s been there a few years now, and they’re both doing good jobs, for the time that they’ve been there.”

The spring signing period for basketball starts on April 15, and ends on May 20, and now that Rabb can smell the end of the process, he shared what enters into his mind as he mulls his decision.

“I have to say getting a good feel for all the coaches and everything,” Rabb said. “It’s kind of hard to explain, but you have to talk to the coaches and you have to sit around the players and you have to get a good feel for the best situation for yourself.”

What kind of feel has he gotten from Cal?

“Honestly, that’s probably the most […] I’m probably the most comfortable with that coaching staff,” Rabb said. “I wouldn’t say it just because they’re right there. They’ve reached out the most, and it’s not always about basketball. They check on me about how I’m doing in school, how the family is doing, what new shoes came out, just different things.”

Off the court, Rabb has a lot of admiration for Martin, who’s insinuated himself into the local fabric, with his son playing in the same AAU program – the vaunted Oakland Soldiers – as Rabb.

“I like him a lot,” Rabb said. “He seems like somebody who, even if he wasn’t a coach, like someone I could get along with. He’s a very strong-minded person, but he’s very down to earth.”

Martin’s near-constant presence in the stands at O’Dowd says a lot to Rabb, as well.

“It means a lot,” Rabb said. “It means that they care. They probably think they have the advantage because they’re so close, but he doesn’t just use that. He still comes to games to watch me. He takes advantage of that, and does it as much as he can.”


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