BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Just like Biggie Smalls rapped, "I'm going going, back back, to Cali Cali." That's exactly what Liberty grad and recent Tulsa point guard Isaiah Hill is doing as he officially becomes a Fresno State Bulldog.
"I was getting kind of homesick so it was a decision. I mean it was something in my mind that I wanted so we just came up with a decision to come home," Hill said.
The "we" in that is Hill's parents as he now gets closer to them and his home in Bakersfield. And even if it's a little further up the 99, Hill will feel a little more at home under Fresno State Head Coach Justin Hutson who also happens to be a Bakersfield native, and recruited Hill not too long ago.
"Of course him being from Bakersfield it makes it even better so it’s an all around great vibe," Hill said.
While he’ll always show love for his time a part of the Golden Hurricane, where he averaged 4.2 points as a true freshman, it’s the support from the '661' that he missed the most.
"I missed the love, Bakersfield there’s a lot of love here," Hill said. "When I made the decision everybody from here is super excited that I'm close to home, they’ll get to watch me play."
Hill will be joined by two other transfers this upcoming season, Devin Gage and Fresno's own Deon Stroud as all three will look to add their college experience to an already talented roster.
"I think we're gonna bring a lot of spark to the city. A lot of top-10 plays, things like that, we gonna win," Hill said.
But before any winning, the former Liberty guard looks forward to returning to the court like many athletes who are eagerly waiting for this pandemic to pass.
"You gotta cherish and respect the game of basketball, or any sport you play because it can be gone in a second," Hill said. "All you can do is pray and hope everything will be cleared out here so we can get back to doing what we love to do."
And, Hill isn’t the first Bakersfield baller to transfer to Central Valley as Mira Monte’s Braxton Huggins found immediate success with Fresno State after transferring from New Mexico State in 2018.
So, HIll will just look to continue that trend for those Bakersfield Bulldogs.