Jabari Brown is back home.
The former Salesian High basketball star, who transferred to high-profile Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., over the summer, decided Sunday to return to his hometown of Oakland and has enrolled at Oakland High.
"It wasn't really working out," Brown said of Findlay Prep, which is ranked in the top 10 in several national polls after finishing last year as the USA Today's top-ranked team. "I just decided it would be a good decision for me and the team and I decided to come home."
Brown, a 6-foot-3 junior who is rated the nation's No. 12 shooting guard prospect in the 2011 class by Scout.com, was a second-team All-East Bay selection and the leading scorer for Salesian last year when the Pride won the California Interscholastic Federation Division IV state title.
It's possible he could get cleared in time for today's 7 p.m. home game against University-San Francisco, although Oakland coach Orlando Watkins said Saturday's 5:30 p.m game at Sacramento is a more likely possibility.
As an out-of-state transfer making a valid residency change, Brown becomes immediately eligible, pending a review of his transcript.
His eligibility for the next grading period will be determined by combining the previous three weeks of the quarter at Henderson International School — the school associated with the Findlay Prep basketball program — with his next three weeks at Oakland. That will be averaged with his first two quarters at Henderson to determine his academic eligibility, which isn't expected to be a problem.
Brown will certainly provide a boost to a talented Oakland (6-8) team which has hit a bit of a skid, dropping four straight. He'll join Santa Clara committed junior guards T.J. Taylor and Dominique Taplin to form an impressive underclass trio. He'll also be reunited with his brother Jamil Brown, a 6-4 sophomore forward for the Wildcats.
"Jabari of course brings such an added dimension because everyone always keyed on T.J.," Watkins said. "The funny thing is it's just so unexpected."
Brown has previously played AAU ball with Taylor, Taplin, point guard David Douglas and several other Wildcats players, which he thinks will help transition to a new team. He said returning to Salesian was never considered.
"I didn't really think about (going back to Salesian)," Brown said. "I get to go to the same school as my brother and it's right around the corner."
His addition may also be enough to boost the Wildcats to the role of favorite in the Oakland Athletic League, which has been won by McClymonds the past three years behind a 29-1 league record.
"We're really, really excited," Watkins said. "We're going to see what happens."