Aug. 24, 1999
BERKELEY - Senior Robbie Jones, a 6-3 guard who has been a member of the Cal basketball team as a walk-on for three seasons, has been awarded a full scholarship, head coach Ben Braun announced Tuesday.
Cal has 11 scholarships to offer for the 1999-2000 season, but had only 10 players on scholarship after completing its recruiting class. With the extra scholarship available, Braun decided to give it to Jones.
"Robbie has been an integral part of our team, and I thought this was a fitting way to reward him for his hard work and dedication to the program," Braun said. "Walk-on players have always been a key part of our success, and they don't usually get much recognition for their efforts even through they go through conditioning, weight training and practice as much as everyone else. It's not often that we get a chance to do something like this for a player, but I was glad that we had the opportunity to do it for Robbie."
Jones, a former all-city player Sacramento's Cordova High School, originally came to Cal for the 1995-96 season and redshirted. After transferring and playing one year at Ca?ada College, Jones re-joined the Bears in '97-98. That season, he appeared in 23 games and started 10 times, with nine of those coming during Pac-10 play. He averaged 2.1 points and 1.7 rebounds, scoring a career-high 11 points in the season-finale against Oregon. Last year, Jones averaged 1.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in 12 games.
"I've been praying about this for a long time," Jones said. "When it happened, it felt awesome. I was just so thankful. It means a lot to me and my family. Since Coach Braun showed confidence in me, I've got to give him something to be confident about."
Since Braun's arrival at Cal prior to the 1996-97 season, 11 different walk-ons have been members of the Bears, including seven last season.
Cal, which captured the 1999 National Invitation Tournament title, opens the '99-00 season in November when the Bears begin play in the new Haas Pavilion.