J'raan Brooks

J'Raan Brooks breaks down his offer from new Cal head coach Wyking Jones

California-born J'Raan Brooks breaks down his offer from California -- the first offer sent out by new head coach Wyking Jones.

Four-star stretch Seattle (Wash.) Garfield four J'Raan Brooks is, as of Tuesday, new California head coach Wyking Jones's first scholarship offer as head of the program.

"We talked over the phone, just a check-up call, and he furthered the conversation, said he loved watching my game over the past year or so," Brooks said of the 15-minute chat with Jones. "He's come out to Garfield a couple of times to watch some of our preseason practices, and he said, 'I'd like to offer you a scholarship to the University of California, Berkeley. You're my first. I was kind of shocked, because it was just a normal conversation, like we usually have, and I was like, 'Thank you!' I felt super shocked.

"He said, 'I know it's been a while, and I know we didn't offer you, but I wanted to take the time to say that you have an offer from Cal-Berkeley.' He saw that I'm a harder worker than I was previously, in the last year or so, and that my game's changing. I'm becoming more versatile, and that's how he sees it, more towards an Ivan Rabb game, stuff like that."

Brooks can face up around the basket and make his way on the low block, but he can also stretch out to mid-range for fade-aways, short-corner mid-range jumpers and pull-up jump shots. Having played on a guard-centric team this past season led by now-Stanford commit Daejon Davis, Brooks is going to have a larger role once the summer AAU schedule rolls around, and next year for Garfield.

"[My strength is] being more versatile, being able to move around, being quicker and more agile than most other big men, being able to stretch the floor and play the wing spot, a four-hybrid," Brooks said.

The 6-foot-8, 215-pounder is the No. 2-ranked power forward in the state of Washington, but he's a California boy, at heart, playing for Dream Vision on the adidas AAU circuit.

"My dad lives in San Diego, so I stay with him in the summer," Brooks said. "My mom lives up here, and my dad lives in San Diego. I'm originally from San Diego. With offers now from the Bears, USC and Stanford, playing closer to his Southern California roots is a real possibility.

"It's actually funny, because pretty much all of the California powerhouses have offered me, so it's funny to have all three choices," Brooks said. "As of now, I love playing over here on the West Coast, just sunny weather, California. I'm trying to get out of this rain. We've only seen the sun four [days] out of the last three weeks. Not fun."

Being a West Coast kid, Brooks has already studied up on the Bears, given that Jones has been watching him now, for over a year.

"I watched them play a little bit, in a couple of Pac-12 games. I know they're really relying on strong, tough defense, and moving around. They're one of the best defensive teams in the Pac-12, so I like that style, and I like that they're really adamant about locking teams down on the defensive end, and coming back and attacking on the offensive end."

Brooks, who has a 3.6 GPA, hasn't talked yet with Jones about the changes he'll be making to the program, but he hopes to see some of them up-close.

"I'm going to be taking an unofficial some time soon, or once AAU ends, once I can come down there and check it out, see what the campus is like," Brooks said, citing sometime in August as a distinct possibility for his trip. In the meantime, Jones will watch Brooks at the adidas Uprising tournaments over the course of the summer and spring, including two this month in Dallas and Atlanta. "I'm looking for a school I can thrive at both in school, and academically, that will further me in the long run, rather than just strictly basketball. Even if I don't make it to the NBA or play overseas, I want to be able to find a well-paid job and be set for my life."

As of now, no other visits are on tap for Brooks. He wants to wait until after the summer to see how his recruitment picks up. He said that Notre Dame, he hopes, will come through with an offer "sometime soon."


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