Position: SG
Height/Weight: 6'6" / 198 lbs
School/Club: California
Status: Senior
Birthday: July 3, 1994

About Jabari Bird

Bird was a legacy recruit at Cal; his father Carl played for the Bears in the mid-‘70s. After learning the game by playing against his father in driveway one-on-one matches, the younger Bird became a five-star recruit who could have gone anywhere in the country to play. Though Carl Bird didn’t try to influence his son’s college decision, he was pleased when Jabari announced he would attend Cal. His career was occasionally slowed by injuries—he missed four games with an ankle sprain as a freshman, 10 games with a foot injury as a sophomore and six with back problems and another two with a concussion as a senior—he wound up scoring 1,227 career points and finishing fourth in Cal history in 3-point attempts (504) and fifth in 3-pointers made (187).


  • Good 3-point shooter
  • Aggressive
  • Athletic
  • Decent length


  • Needs to get bigger and stronger
  • Shot selection could be tightened up

NBA projection: Bird is in the second-round to undrafted category.

2016-17 Season
Though Bird’s season was hampered by a back injury that caused him to miss six games and later a concussion that knocked him out of postseason play, he still earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors after leading Cal in scoring. He was exceptional in the Pac-12 tournament, scoring 20 points against Oregon State and 26 against Utah before getting knocked out of the game after only one minute against Oregon after suffering a concussion. That forced him to miss the Bears’ first-round NIT game against Bakersfield, which they lost, 73-66 at home.

Key statistics: 14.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.8 tpg, 32.0 mpg, .440 FG, .365 3PT, .764 FT

Career Highlights: Fifth in the Cal record books for career three-pointers made (187)). Seventh for single-season three-pointers made (65, 2016-17). A McDonald’s All-American as a high school senior.

Cool Statistic: Bird scored 20 or more points a team-high eight times in 2016-17.

Reminds me of: Terrence Ross

What Insiders Say
Cal forward Ivan Rabb

"Obviously he's an explosive scorer and an explosive athlete. … He plays the game the right way. He's not selfish, so he has the right balance to look for a shot.”

What Outsiders Say
Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak

“He hit his shots with a hand in his face [Bird scored 26 points, including the game-winning dunk, in a double-overtime regular-season game]. It wasn’t bad defense. It was great defense. It was a really great player stepping up and hitting shots.”


Chris Dortch is the editor of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. You can email him here, follow him on Twitter and listen to the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Hour.

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