One of the most exciting aspects of all levels of sports is the team mascot. Whether you play high school sports, in the minor leagues, or on a professional team, your mascot represents your team’s spirit. The Utah Jazz has a very special mascot in its award-winning Jazz Bear.
The Jazz Bear was introduced on November 4, 1994. His first appearance was highlighted by a fantastic stunt where he rappelled down from a catwalk above the court. He continues to perform impressive stunts, entertaining all those who have attended the more than 1200 games he’s been present at. Due to his many tricks over his years in action, the Jazz Bear has suffered injuries. He has had 9 surgeries, 150 stitches and torn 11 muscles and ligaments.
In 2006, the Jazz Bear was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame, along with Aubie the Tiger (Auburn University) Bucky Badger (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Clutch (Houston Rockets), KC Wolf (Kansas City Chiefs), and YoUDee (University of Delaware).
On October 10, 2013, Utah Governor Gary Herbert named the date “Jazz Bear Day” in honor of the mascot’s 20th season, highlighting the Jazz Bear’s dedication to serving in the community. During the Jazz Bear’s nearly 24 years in the NBA, the 6-foot, 250-pound mascot was named Mascot of the Year three times (2006, 2008, 2018). The Bear has made over 4,000 slam dunks, used more than 50,000 cans of silly string, and raised over $1,000,000 for charities. He has put in over 15,000 hours of community service, assisting more than 300 charities, and has received more than 40 community awards for his work.
Known as the Jazz’s goodwill ambassador, the Jazz Bear performs and participates in many community service events. He has played bingo with residents at rehabilitation facilities and brought Christmas cheer to countless children in need throughout the years, along with many other service projects that don’t make news headlines.
The Jazz Bear recently participated with the Utah Department of Transportation for the department’s annual Spring Walk N’ Win campaign, which encourages children to bike or walk to school. In August, the Jazz Bear walked to school with the winners of the competition in Eagle Mountain.
Here’s a look at some of the Jazz Bear’s entertaining moments on the court:
Jazz Bear and baby bears
Here you can see children dressed up and performing basic tumbling maneuvers while adorably harassing officials on the court. In this video, the Jazz Bear leads a brood of baby bears in some fun antics to entertain the crowd.
Danger must be the Jazz Bear’s middle name because he’s been known to perform extreme stunts more than once. Here he slides head-first down a slide that is three stories high.
The Jazz Bear is known for doing handstands in precarious places. In this video, he does a handstand on the basketball hoop in the middle of a Weber State men’s basketball game.
For Jazz fans and other NBA fans, there’s no doubt that the Jazz Bear is one of the most beloved, entertaining mascots out there.