UCLA Gains With Jabari Bird

One of the best wings in the west for 2013, Jabari Bird from Richmond (Calif.) Salesian, says two schools have led for him for a while, but the Bruins are making up ground...

Jabari Bird is entering his junior season in high school and after a good summer is prepared to help his Richmond (Calif.) Salesian High School basketball team have a special year.

The 17th ranked player in the class of 2013 according to Scout.com is currently playing in scrimmage type tournaments with his high school in preparation for the season. Bird says that he and his teammates are thinking they can make a state championship type run.

For a recruit of the caliber of Bird, recruiting will always be a topic of discussion until he ultimately makes a decision. Bird tells WildcatAuthority.com that the top two remain the same but a third school is trying to make a push.

"It is still going pretty good," said Bird. "The top two are still Arizona and Washington. But now I would say that UCLA is making a push and I would put them in my top three."

UCLA getting into the recruitment is not a surprise as it has been trying to get some attention from the talented wing. It may be hard for the Bruins to gain a lot of ground on both the Wildcats and the Huskies but, as of now, they have a foot in the door.

"They have really recruited me hard as of late," explained Bird. "The coaches have said, like Arizona and Washington has, that I have a lot of potential and that I can do great there. Plus they have a lot of good talent going there."

His travel team and former high school teammate Dominic Artis committed to the Bruins this summer, which may have helped the Bruins' cause, but with Brandon Ashley committing to Arizona that may help it as well.

The 6-foot-5, 190-pound wing originally had a top three of Arizona, Washington and California but it seems as if the Golden Bears have fallen off just a bit on this recruitment. Bird said they are still on his list and would likely be in his top five.

As for Arizona, Bird was appreciative of how head coach Sean Miller and assistant coach Joe Pasternack used their first day back on the road to come see him in Richmond.

"Pasternack and Miller came to see me at my open gym on like the first day," said Bird. "It is still a good relationship and I will probably talk to them again this coming week."

Bird and Arizona have been discussing a date to visit and now it seems that Bird will be in Tucson in November.

"I plan on going down to Arizona on November 12th to visit and then hopefully get to Washington during the season," explained Bird. "If I can't during the season then I will definitely see them once my season is over."

Those are the only schools he is currently planning on visits even though that can change. Bird really likes both Arizona and Washington and feels that the decision will come down between the two Pac-12 powers.

"It's a battle right now," Bird said. "Definitely seems like it is between those top two schools and they are both really good schools, so we will see who will win out."

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