From an early age, Jules Bernard's father, Jules, Sr., has always made sure to help with math homework. A Trinidad native, Jules, Sr., moved to the United States when he was 17, and went to an engineering school in Indiana, before going to Cal State Los Angeles, and then USC for three years. He is now a systems analyst for the County of Los Angeles, and has transferred his love of numbers to his four-star son.
Bernard, a 2018 shooting guard for Los Angeles Windward, has to keep track of a dizzying number of offers -- 16 in all, including academic stalwarts Stanford and Vanderbilt -- with the latest coming from California and head coach Cuonzo Martin, who extended the scholarship on Friday.
"He asked me about my day, how things were with my family," Bernard said. "Then, he told me that he offered me, and I was very excited, and humbled, because an offer from Cal, they're a great athletic school, as well as an academic school, so it was very exciting."
The holder of a 3.5 GPA ("I'm looking to raise that, this year," he said), Bernard is taking AP English Language and Composition this fall, as well as Honors French. Academics are a big factor for Bernard, and the fact that Cal is the No. 1 public school in the nation is a draw, not a drawback, as he discovered when he visited Berkeley back in late June.
"When I was up there, I met with some academic advisors, and they told me that managing your time is extremely important, especially at Cal," Bernard said. "You really have to focus on managing your time, and doing what's right for your classes and just being responsible. Doing the right thing in the classroom is important there."
With Jules, Sr., by his side, Bernard was impressed by how the Cal program operated.
"Their seriousness about their business, not only in basketball, but also in academics, they're a very serious school, and it's very straight-forward and to-the-point," Bernard said. "I spoke with one of their academic advisors, and just listening to him, they were very serious. Basketball-wise, I like their coaches, I have great relationships with that staff. The visit was good for me."
As far as his on-the-court prowess, Bernard is big for his position, at 6-foot-5, 185 pounds, and plays tough, an attribute Martin prizes.
"Bernard is an athletic wing with quite a bit of upside," said Scout recruiting analyst Josh Gershon. "He has a good frame with long arms and plenty of room to get stronger. Bernard's body control and athleticism make him a tough player to stop going to the basket. He's an improving shooter but will have to become more consistent there. Bernard has the physical attributes to eventually be a good defender. He's not a finished product, but his ceiling is very high."
This past season, Bernard averaged over 25 points per game, to go along with "between seven and eight" rebounds and "between three and four" assists, though full stats are not available.
"They said they're big on being aggressive, attacking and pushing the ball up the floor," Bernard said of the Bears.
"I think I do a really good job of rebounding and pushing the tempo, because that's a big part of my game. I'm very aggressive, and I like to get to the line and attack the basket."
Over the course of the summer, Bernard has visited Arizona State, his father's alma mater USC, UCLA, Stanford and Cal, with a visit to Utah scheduled for later in September. Though distance isn't really a factor, Bernard did acknowledge that having family close for support would be a plus.
"I've always said whatever school is best for me, no matter where it is, that's where I'm going to go, whether it's in California or on the East Coast," he said. "I'm not afraid to leave, but I'm also not afraid to stay."