Patrick Christopher, who will be playing for Dominguez (Compton) High this fall, informed the coaches of his decision while they were talking with fellow 2006 Cal commit Taylor Harrison.
"They were really excited," said Christopher, who drew interest from several schools including Texas and Kentucky. "I told them I wanted to be a Golden Bear. Taylor thinks it's pretty cool, too. He's been telling me that he can run the point for me and I can set some screens for him," said Christopher of his former Rockfish AAU teammate. "It will be great to get to play with him again."
It's been an interesting journey for the talented long-range marksman, rated the 11th best shooting guard prospect in the nation as well as the #52 prospect overall in Scout's National Top 100.
The Cal coaching staff identified Christopher early during his AAU play and as a young blooming star at Lakewood's Mayfair High. As Christopher's exploits grew along with recruiting service's attention, Christopher began to wonder if he'd made too early a decision and decided that it would be best to at least talk with other programs to see what they had to say and to see if he'd be a better fit elsewhere.
He made it clear in an earlier conversation with the Bear Insider and to the Cal coaching staff that he wasn't walking away from the Cal program and that they were still very much a part of the picture in his recruitment. The loyalty and persistence that the staff showed from early on continued throughout the past few months while he was reevaluated his recruitment. The fact that the staff never wavered had a huge impact on him.
"Yeah, my mom got a little upset at me sometimes," said Christopher. "It seemed like every time a story would come out from another school, it didn't put Cal in a good light and that's really not the way the conversations went. But it's all good from here. Now I just have to get myself ready to play. I feel I'm ready to come in and compete to start as a freshman and shoulder the load early and I'm going to put in the work to do it."
Christopher cited Dominguez head coach Russell Otis as an ingredient in that preparation.
"At Mayfair, they really needed their best players on the court," said Christopher. "But at Dominguez, if you don't put out a full effort and if you don't play D, you're gonna sit. They demand that you play hard defense and give full effort from start to finish. Plus, they play a national schedule and I'll get the opportunity to play against strong competition and maybe make a run at Mickey D's (the McDonald's All-American Game).
And how did Christopher's family feel?
"My daughter's just down the road at St. Mary's and I've had a chance to visit her a lot there," said Pat Christopher, Patrick's mom. "She loves the area. Hopefully I'll be able to come up a lot and visit and have a chance to see Patrick play."
"I'm really excited about the decision but I think what excites me the most is that he owns the decision," she added. "No one in the family tried to influence Patrick and push him one way or the other. But Cal's a great school and we're happy he'll be there," concluded Mrs. Christopher.
It's a guarantee that there are plenty of Cal fans that are very excited, too.
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