BERKELEY -- By signing Salesian High five-star prospect Jabari Bird, Cal basketball coach Mike Montgomery hopes other elite players will follow.

"If Jabari has the kind of career we think he's capable of having, it will speak volumes," Montgomery said. "He will get an incredible amount of love from the local community, the fact that he's homegrown and his dad went here.

"His legacy will be his alone, but to have a guy stay and be that caliber gives you national recognition. Others will look at that and say, 'I want to play there.' "

The Golden Bears announced their three-man recruiting class Thursday, with 6-foot-3 shooting guard Jordan Mathews of Santa Monica High and 6-4 combo guard Sam Singer of Ransom Everglades in Miami also headed to Berkeley next fall.

But the headliner is Bird, a 6-6 wing, who as a consensus top-25 national recruit is the most acclaimed player Montgomery has landed in his five seasons at Cal. Bird also is the first prominent local player to sign with Montgomery at Berkeley. He averaged 18.7 points last season for Salesian.

His father, Carl Bird, played two seasons at Cal and was the team's co-MVP after averaging 15.2 points in 1975-76.

"We have watched Jabari grow as a player for a long time," Montgomery said. "He is a winner."

Bird led Salesian to the Division IV state championship in March, scoring 24 points in a win over Price-Los Angeles.


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Montgomery said Bird will get stronger and more explosive. "He has a knack for scoring, scores in traffic, scores in a lot of different ways," Montgomery said. "He's very unselfish. He doesn't have to have the ball. At the end of the game is when he makes plays."

Mathews, the son of former USF coach and current UCLA assistant Phil Mathews, is rated the 24th-best shooting guard and 85th overall prospect in the nation by Rivals.com.

"Jordan is a great shooter," Montgomery said. "He comes from a great background where he was raised around basketball. Basketball has been his life, and that is going to really help him. He knows how the game is played."

Singer is considered one of the top prospects in Florida, rated the No. 45 point guard in the nation by ESPN.com. He averaged 34.1 points per game and 7.7 assists per contest as a junior.

"He can shoot the ball and is a very good passer. Sam is a basketball junkie who really understands the game," Montgomery said.

"It is not often you go coast-to-coast to get a guy, but he came out to our team camp and we were very impressed with him. We are excited about Sam."

For more on Cal sports, see the Bear Talk blog at ibabuzz.com/beartalk. Follow Jeff Faraudo on Twitter at twitter.com/CalBearsBANG.