Abdur-Rahim, the son of G League president and former NBA All-Star Shareef Abdur-Rahim, picked the Cavaliers over Michigan.
"I chose them because I felt most comfortable with the staff and I felt they would best prepare me to win on the college level and achieve my ultimate goal of playing in the NBA," Abdur-Rahim told ESPN.
Virginia offered Abdur-Rahim back in mid-May after a stellar April period with the NJ Playaz of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League, and Abdur-Rahim went to the Cavaliers' campus twice in June. He was invited to the NBPA Top 100 Camp at the University of Virginia, and then took an official visit to Charlottesville at the end of June.
"How comfortable my family and I felt there, it just seemed like somewhere I could see myself succeeding," Abdur-Rahim said.
Abdur-Rahim, ranked No. 28 overall and No. 4 among small forwards, is the highest-ranked prospect to commit to Virginia since Kyle Guy (No. 27) pledged to the Cavaliers in 2016. He's the sixth top-50 prospect to pick the Cavaliers since head coach Tony Bennett took over in 2009.
A 6-foot-6 wing from Blair Academy in New Jersey, Abdur-Rahim was one of the best players on the EYBL circuit in the spring. He was fourth on the circuit in scoring, averaging 25.2 points, while ranking in the top 25 in rebounds at 8.0 per game. Abdur-Rahim hit the 40-point mark on three separate occasions during the 13-game schedule, including a 44-point effort in which he made 10 3-pointers.
Abdur-Rahim is Virginia's third pledge in the 2020 class, joining ESPN 100 point guard Reece Beekman and four-star shooting guard Carson McCorkle. Tony Bennett and the defending national champions also have Marquette transfer Sam Hauser sitting out the 2019-20 season; Hauser will be eligible when Abdur-Rahim's group arrives on campus.
Despite his father's position with the G League, Abdur-Rahim said going that route was never an option for him.
"It was always college," he said. "It never was a discussion."