Abu Kigab talks Cal offer and the future of the Bears basketball program

Cal pulls the trigger and offers local wing Abu Kigab, who prides himself on his defensive acumen, and who's getting ready to suit up for a storied local AAU team very soon.

Sitting in St. Catherines, Canada, with a 3 a.m. flight back to the Bay Area in his future, 2017 wing Abu Kigab got a call from California head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin, with news he'd been waiting for: A Cal offer.

"Coach Martin offered me, and I had a really good conversation with him," said the 6-foot-6 three-star forward out of Napa (Calif.) Prolific Prep. "We not only spoke about basketball, but we also spoke about family, and life outside of basketball. Overall, it was a great conversation, and I can't wait to have more conversations with him."

It's the 'outside basketball' that has troubled the Golden Bears in recent weeks, with the firing of assistant Yann Hufnagel due to sexual harassment allegations and a review of Martin's reporting of the incident being undertaken by the University, but Kigab -- who was originally, primarily recruited by Hufnagel -- remains confident in the fundamentals of the program, and in Martin.

"To be honest, that whole situation is very unfortunate," Kigab said. "I've talked to coach Yanni, and we've talked about how the situation is at Cal right now, and I told him to stay positive. I still have confidence in the Cal program. Their resumé speaks for itself. They went undefeated at home, and how many teams can say they did that? Moving forward, it's going to be really great. I have a lot of faith in the program, and, hopefully, they have a lot of faith in me."

http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1638213-kigab-talks-cal-visit Kigab and the Bears have been flirting for quite some time, and the Canadian native has been out to two games at Haas Pavilion with teammate Ira Lee, another key 2017 piece Cal has been working on heavily.

"I was very honored to receive the offer," Kigab said. "Coach Martin, he's one of the best coaches in the country, and it's very humbling and honoring just to receive an offer from him."

Having watched Kigab several times this past season, his strength is undoubtedly on defense. His shot is a work in progress, but the fact that he takes pride in his work on the defensive side of the ball -- playing one of the best players in the nation in DeAndre Ayton as closely and as tough as anyone -- marks him as Martin's type of player.

"Defense is a big deal for any coach, not just coach Martin," said Kigab. "Defense is the thing that I build my game around. I want to be a really great defender, and then build my game around that. I can defend one through four, and I'm able to knock down shots. Any college coach will look at you if you can do that. That's how I base my game. Defense first, and everything else, after."

Now that Kigab's season is over with Prolific Prep, he's spent his spring break working out at home in Canada with his old rec team, UPlay Canada.

"I still represent them, and UPlay did a lot of things for me, growing up, so I really appreciate them being there for me," Kigab said. "I worked out with them throughout the week. I have a workout on Saturday, a training camp with the Oakland Soldiers, because I'm playing with them on the EYBL circuit."

The Soldiers just so happen to be the AAU squad of Lee, and two of the Soldiers' alumni -- Ivan Rabb and Jabari Bird -- are both in Berkeley.

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