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Jordan Brand Classic: Ivan Rabb

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As part of our Jordan Classic coverage, Finish Line polled 10 of the finest up-and-coming players in America about what it means to them to play in the game that bears Michael Jordan’s name, among other topics. Today, the spotlight belongs to Luke Kennard and Ivan Rabb.

Ivan Rabb (@YoungIvee)

The No. 8 recruit in the country according to the ESPN 100, the Oakland native chose to remain in the Bay Area, instantly becoming the face of Cal. The 6-foot-10 Rabb is a talented scorer and a tremendous athlete who will only get more lethal as he gains strength. Rabb scored 14 points, 12 rebounds — and a three pointer — in the Jordan Game.

I visited the Bay Area last year, and it was beautiful, I didn’t want to leave and come back here! You could definitely have picked a worse place to stay home and play college ball.

Yeah, I mean, it feels great. I was kind of lost for words when I first decided, and I’m definitely happy. I haven’t been this happy in a long time.

Picture by Bryan Horowitz

Picture by Bryan Horowitz

You’re at a game represented by arguably the greatest player of all time. How does it feel to have him watch you play?

I mean, it’s exciting. I always wanted to meet Michael, so it’s great that he comes here to watch us play. I mean, I’m just happy about it. I’m excited, there are a lot of great players here, and for me to be one of these guys just definitely means a lot.

Another thing about Michael, he was always comfortable being the face of a franchise, taking on that responsibility. People are going to kind of look at you like that. How does that make you feel?

I think it won’t be too much different from what I’ve been going through the past few years. I’m definitely not going to take a lot of credit for it, because Cal has a lot of great players there already. They just need a little bit more help. I definitely wouldn’t have a problem with being the face of the program, but I just want to work hard and stay humble and win games next year.

Obviously, you’ve had a few of these games these past few weeks. What’s your mentality coming to a game like this?

Just to get something from the practices and get something from the games, and most of all just have fun. Sometimes it’s hard to have fun when you’re a big guy in these games, but I just want to do anything I can to have fun — and to help Zim [Stephen Zimmerman, standing right there] get a few buckets!

** Stay tuned tomorrow to get the word from elite guards Dwayne Bacon (Florida State) and Eric Davis (Texas) as our coverage of the Jordan Brand Classic continues.