2019 four-star forward Isaiah Mobley watched, over the last two weeks, as his Compton Magic AAU teammates pulled down offers from California. 2018 four-star Jules Bernard already had one from the previous staff, but then, as this AAU season dawned, the Bears offered Timmy Allen and Onyeka Okongwu.
"I was waiting for it, and I didn't know if I was going to get it, after my AAU teammates did, but when it came through, I was really happy."
Right after Onyeka got his offer earlier today, he and Mobley connected.
"He was excited about it," Mobley said.
Mobley's maternal uncle, Rey Nicholas, transferred to Cal from San Diego State, and lettered for the Bears on the football field as a wide receiver in 1986 and 1987, before signing with the Los Angeles Rams.
Nicholas -- who was gunned down in a robbery in La Mesa in 1988 -- died before Mobley was born, but what the Cal family did during those trying times has stuck with Mobley's family.
"The coaches, after he passed, they were really close with my family, so I was waiting for this offer," Mobley said, hours after his AAU program director, Etop Udo-Ema, informed him of the offer. "I knew Cal had interest in me, because they came to my school, before, and they've watched me play a couple of high school games."
"I liked their vibe that they gave off, and I think they're great recruiters," Mobley said.
At 6-foot-8, 190 pounds, Mobley is still growing, and models parts of his game on NBA Draft hopeful Ivan Rabb.
"That's how I feel like [the Cal staff] want me to fit in," Mobley said. "Pieces of his game, I sure do model myself after, like some of his back-to-the-basket stuff, and things like that."
He even will stretch out to the three-point line, upon occasion. This past season at Temecula (Calif.) Rancho Christian, Mobley shot 21-of-79 from beyond the three-point arc (his younger brother, 2020 forward Evan Mobley, is the sniper, hitting 20 of 40 from three).
"In Dallas, for the [adidas] Gauntlet, I had a couple threes," said the older Mobley, who went 5-of-14 from beyond the arc over the first two open viewing periods.
A 4.0 student, Mobley is contemplating studying business, but it's not set in stone. In an interview for an upcoming profile earlier this week, assistant coach Chris Walker made a point of saying that the brand the current staff is trying to develop for the Bears is a Duke-of-the-West vibe -- an academic powerhouse with a basketball reputation to match. That's appealing for Mobley.
"Academics are pretty solid," Mobley said. "I want to go to a well-known academic school, and I know that Cal is pretty well-known, especially on the West Coast. I have family who went there, I know the culture pretty well. I haven't been up to the Bay Area, but my younger brother's been there, and he told me that the campuses are nice. From what I've heard, the culture is exciting, and it's a pretty cool place to live."