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CU basketball adds 2020 forward Jabari Walker

Son of former NBA vet first addition of spring recruiting period

The Colorado men’s basketball team has locked down the frontcourt reinforcement it sought after the graduation of Lucas Siewert and Tyler Bey’s departure for the NBA draft. And more help might still be on the way.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Buffaloes received a verbal commitment from Phoenix-area forward Jabari Walker, who made his announcement via his Twitter account. The 6-foot-8 Walker, considered a four-star recruit out of the 2020 class by 247Sports.com, is the son of former Louisville star and 10-year NBA player Samaki Walker.

Walker is expected to sign his letter of intent when the spring signing period begins April 15. Walker previously announced CU, Cal, and St. Mary’s as his three finalists.


Jabari Walker is considered a late-bloomer who grew at least an inch since last year, and whose skills have evolved accordingly. The addition of Walker fills one of the three open scholarships available to head coach Tad Boyle this spring following the departure of Bey and the transfer decisions of Jakub Dombek and Daylen Kountz.

Walker joins a 2020 freshman class for the Buffs that already includes in-state talents Dominique Clifford from the Vanguard School and Columbine’s Luke O’Brien. Guard Keeshawn Barthelemy also will be eligible as a freshman after redshirting this past season.

Walker’s addition fills a void in the frontcourt, and the Buffs might not be done adding commits ahead of the beginning of the spring signing period. CU might add its first graduate transfer to the roster, as the Buffs remain in contention for former Tulsa forward Jeriah Horne.

The 6-foot-7 Horne played in 63 games for Tulsa over the past two seasons after playing at Nebraska during his freshman season. He averaged 11.1 points and 5.2 rebounds this past year for a Tulsa squad that finished 21-10 overall and earned the No. 3 seed in the American Athletic Conference tournament before it was canceled along with the remainder of the NCAA basketball season due to fears of the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. As a graduate transfer, Horne would be eligible immediately.

CU recruited Horne out of high school, and he played on the same AAU team that produced former Buffs Tory Miller-Stewart and Dominique Collier. The possible addition of Horne alongside Walker would fill CU’s most immediate offseason need. Assuming point guard McKinley Wright IV returns to CU for his senior season, Horne’s possible addition alongside Walker seemingly would complete the Buffs’ rotation and give Boyle a surplus of options with CU’s final open scholarship.