ATHENS — Jabri Abdur-Rahim is onboard with the Georgia basketball vision under Tom Crean, and he’s eager to play his role and make an impact.
Abdur-Rahim is the second-highest ranked player Crean has signed as the Bulldogs’ head coach, a 6-foot-7 transfer from Virginia who should prove to be a much better fit for UGA’s uptempo style.
“Coming out of the portal, I had a lot of good options,’ said Abdur-Rahim, whose finishing the semester with online classes and will enroll at Georgia this summer.
“I just felt like me and Coach Crean had the strongest relationship.”
Crean has added three other transfers this offseason:
• Braylin Bridges 6-10 transfer from Illinois-Chicago
• Noah Baumann, 6-6 grad transfer from Southern Cal
• Jaylin Ingram 6-7 grad transfer from Florida Atlantic
Abdur-Rahim, a former Gatorade prep player of the year in New Jersey and top 40 prospect, figures to make the most impact as a scorer.
But to talk to Abdur-Rahim, the son of former NBA player and Marietta High School star Shareef Abdur-Rahim, his priority is more on winning.
“I want to come in and be known as a winner,” Abdur-Rahim said. “I like the vision (Crean) has for the program, and how he wants to have players that can come in and make an impact. I can fit that role.”
Abdur-Rahim visited UGA when he was in high school. His uncle is Ameer Abdur-Rahim, who was an assistant to Crean with the Bulldogs before taking his current post as Kennesaw State’s head coach.
Jabri, however, originally chose to start his career at Virginia. His playing time was limited to just eight games last season, but Abdur-Rahim still cited it as a positive experience overall.
“I felt like in terms of basketball, the situation didn’t work out, it wasn’t the best fit,” said Abdur-Rahim, who averaged more than 30 points per game his senior season at Blair Academy (N.J.).
“I felt I had a good year behind the scenes, though.”
Georgia, however, will offer the transfer a unique opportunity.
I’m just excited, my family is from Atlanta,” Abdur-Rahim said. “In addition to the Georgia basketball vision, my entire family lives there. So that’s another part I’m excited about.”
The Bulldogs also boast the top assists man in the SEC returning in third-year player and team captain Sahvir Wheeler. Add in explosive second-year backcourt player K.D. Johnson, and it would appear the UGA offense could be scoring more points than ever next season.
Georgia basketball offseason
Georgia adds explosive scorer Jabri Abdur-Rahim
UGA adds Jailyn Ingram to Tom Crean rotation