Four in the last six. Seven in twelve years. Tad Boyle has had another Colorado Buffalo drafted by the NBA. Jabari Walker was selected by the Portland Trailblazers in the second round of the 2022 NBA Draft with the 57th overall pick Thursday night.
A native of Inglewood, Calif., Walker was a 2021-22 All-Pac-12 Conference First Team selection averaging 14.6 points and a league-best 9.4 rebounds per game. He’ll join the Blazers and be coached by CU legend Chauncey Billups, who is entering his second year as head coach.
“It’s great that he’ll be coached by a former Buff, but he’s got to earn his roster spot, and (Walker) knows that,” Boyle said. “It’s nice to have that Buff connection but he’s going to have to play his way into the NBA.”
Walker will have to work to make an offensive impact in Portland. He’ll need to be more consistent in his shooting and work to become a better finisher around the rim. If that happens his defensive capabilities will make him a solid NBA roster contributor but there are some question marks.
He’ll likely be put on a 2-way contract and have a chance to make an impact in his first couple of seasons.
Congratulations, Jabari! We’ll have more to come on his fit in the City of Roses.