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May 4, 2013
Hoops adds a 5th
Roger Moute a Bidias just couldn't get Berkeley off the brain, so less than 24 hours after winging-it back to the east coast, he became a California Golden Bear for good.
"The Bay Area was amazing," Moute a Bidias told GoldenBearReport. "I was there for the past three days and really felt like it was the place I belong. I'm a city boy and I felt like I could really put my trust in the coaching staff."
A 6-7 forward, Moute a Bidias first became interested in the Bears through his interactions with assistant Gregg Gottlieb.
"He was honest and up front with me," said Roger. "He didn't tell me I was going to be the team's high scorer or best player when I got there, but he said 'we want you. We want to help you become a good player.' Honesty is what I look for in myself so I really liked that."
Roger also got plenty of help from his siblings, Emmanuel and Luc, both former Division-I players and the latter of whom attended UCLA before moving on to the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.
"My brothers were real involved in my decision...He (Luc) did a lot of research and talked to the coaches and felt like Cal was the best place for me, too."
And though Roger's offensive game remains a work in progress, the Cameroon native says he's ready to contribute.
"They want me to come in right now and play defense, get rebounds, and just play hard. They know I'm going to get better offensively, so they want to give me the tools to do that."
Noted for his relentless motor, the Notre Dame Prep senior also expects to work in the classroom, saying he's acutely aware of Berkeley's academic reputation.
"Everybody I talked to and told Cal was recruiting me would be like, 'oh, you're talking about UC Berkeley. That's a great school.'"
Six months ago, however, many expected Moute a Bidias to reclassify for 2014. But as his game advanced rapidly, several schools jumped back into the fray, with Cal and Marquette ultimately sitting 1-2.
"I felt like if a school believed in me and I could come in and help a college team right now, then that's something I wanted to do. The style of play at Cal and the players there, I feel like those guys can really become my brothers."
And while Roger still needs to fax his letter of intent in order to make his decision official, he'll give thanks for his expanding family, first.
Said Moute a Bidias, "I'm going to go to church and thank God."