Vegas: Nembhard Feels at Home With Cal

LAS VEGAS -- R.J. Nembhard talks to Cal regularly, but is a return to the Golden State in order?

LAS VEGAS -- He may have lived in Texas for the past seven years, but Keller (Tex.) four-star point guard R.J. Nembhard is a California boy, at heart, so that makes the Cal Golden Bears’ pursuit of the 2017 prospect very enticing.

“I’m from California. It’s my home,” Nembhard said in Las Vegas at the end of July, during the final open viewing period of the summer. “It’d be an awesome opportunity to go back and play in front of my family.”

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Born in San Diego, Nembhard’s mother and him moved out to Texas for her job with Fidelity Investments. With a job in finance, the opportunity for her son to play at Cal – the top public institution in the nation – would certainly be appealing, Nembhard said of his mother, who holds a degree from Long Beach State.

“She’d be very excited,” Nembhard said. “That’s our hometown. I think she’d be ecstatic to see me play for a California team.”

Nembhard has been in constant communication with the Bears since thye started recruiting him, and Cal sent two coaches – including head coach Cuonzo Martin to watch him play in the Fab 48 at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas.

“I talk with them frequently, almost every day. Coach [Yanni] Hufnagel, coach Cuonzo, they’re great coaches. That would be a great opportunity to play for them,” said Nembhard, whose grandparents still live in California.

Nembhard has also paid attention closely to what Cal’s done in recruiting, and though Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown may not be in Berkeley by the time he’d get there, the fact that they chose Berkeley has inspired Nembhard, who said he’d be more than willing to visit even before he got an offer.

“I know they’re getting all the top recruits in the nation, in Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb. I think they’re going to build a tough team,” Nembhard said. “I think they can make a far run in the Tournament … They’re family-oriented. They go out of their way to get the best guys, and I think they can build great chemistry and make a deep run.”

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