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October 15, 2013Chico State landed a NCP Top 40 prospect for the fifth consecutive season in Jalen McFerren. The senior point guard from Castro Valley gave his verbal commitment after an official visit this past weekend.
"What really intrigued me about Chico State and what helped me make my decision was the community environment," said McFerren. "[Head] Coach [Greg] Clink is a really good coach, and their style of play, I believe I will fit well in. They are also serious about their student athletes achieving academic excellence."
McFerren was also in contact with Cal Baptist, Cal State East Bay, George Fox, Lewis and Clark, Point Loma, Portland State, UC Riverside, Western Oregon, and Whitman. Many schools were close to extending an offer, but McFerren only took official visits to Whitman and Chico State. His visit to Chico obviously left a good impression.
"My visit to Chico State was really exciting," McFerren added. "The coaching staff and players made me feel apart of the Chico State family. I was able to go to classes and watch them workout and get a real feel for what it would be like to be a student athlete at Chico State."
McFerren spent his time on the AAU circuit with the Oakland Rebels. One of his Rebel teammates, Temidayo Yussuf, also made a recent verbal commitment to Long Beach State.
"Playing for the Oakland Rebels was a great experience," said McFerren. "Coach Raymond Young and Phil Taylor are two of the best coaches in the nation! It was a privilege to be able to play for them and learn so many things about life and basketball under their wing. My Rebel teammates made me look good this past summer. Playing with so much talent made every game exciting and fun to be apart of."
The 5-foot-8, 155 pounder averaged 15.6 points, six rebounds, and four assists per game for Castro Valley last season. He's an elite athlete with quickness and bounce. McFerren can crash the glass to start the fast break despite his size due to his motor and athleticism. He thrives in transition and can score or facilitate, but will need to add a more consistent jumper from three-point range.
"The greatest strength in my game is my passion to win," said McFerren. "Whether it's scoring, defending, rebounding, I am always attempting to do what it takes to lead my team to a win."
However, McFerren is far from complacent with his game. "I am a huge critic of my game," he said. "Although I can improve my game all around, I'm focusing on my footwork, explosiveness, and ball handling to give me the advantage against multiple defenders. Also my shot consistency, shooting the same every time."
Off of the floor, McFerren maintains a 3.4 GPA and his favorite subject is math. He would like to double major in the business program, but hasn't decided on which two majors in that field of study.
Chico State already has 13 Northern California products on its roster including Castro Valley alum Rashad Parker. McFerren is another good addition for the Wildcats who qualified for the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship last season.