When Salesian HS’s Jabari Bird signs with Cal — presumably on Nov. 14 — he will become the latest in a long line of Bay Area players to join the Bears.
He also represents something of a breakthrough for Cal coach Mike Montgomery, for whom top local players have been elusive.
On the Bears’ roster last season — Montgomery’s fourth in Berkeley — backup point guard Brandon Smith was the only scholarship player with Bay Area roots.
Obviously, there are a couple other local players — Aaron Gordon of San Jose and Marcus Lee of Antioch — the Bears would love to secure this year.
Over the years, Cal’s program has been fueled by Bay Area talent. Here is a breakdown of the best over the past half-century:
FIRST TEAM: Phil Chenier (Berkeley HS) 1970-71; Jason Kidd (St. Joseph’s HS-Alameda) 1993-94; Lamond Murray (Kennedy HS-Fremont ) 1992-94; Leon Powe (Oakland Tech HS) 2004-06); Ansley Truitt (Wilson HS-San Francisco) 1970-72.
SECOND TEAM: Russ Critchfield (Salinas HS) 1966-68; John Coughran (Piedmont Hills HS-San Jose) 1971-73; Charles Johnson (Sequoia HS-Redwood City) 1969-71; Mark McNamara (Del Mar HS-San Jose) 1981-82; Gene Ransom (Berkeley HS) 1976-78.
HONORABLE MENTION: Brady Allen (Castlemont HS-Oakland) 1973-74; DeVon Hardin (Newark Memorial HS) 2005-08; Theo Robertson (De La Salle HS-Concord) 2006-10; Kevin Singleton (Oakland HS) 1977-81; Doug True (College Park HS-Pleasant Hill) 1977-80; Ayinda Ubaka (Oakland HS) 2004-07.