Remembering the Fab Five
In 1991, the University of Michigan scooped up five of the top high school players in the country. We look at the five freshman who changed the game!
Recruiting the Fab Five
In Spring of 1991, the University of Michigan had signed what was arguably the best recruiting class in the history of college basketball. Coach Steve Fischer signed five of the nation's top prospects - Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson. Webber and Rose were childhood friends from Detroit who blossomed into McDonald's All Americans. The 6'9" power forward, Webber, was regarded as the Nation's number one player. Rose was a tall 6'7" guard, who played like a young Magic Johnson. Howard, another McDonald's All American, was a multi-talented forward from Chicago. Texas natives King and Jackson rounded off the Fab Five Freshman. King was a super athletic guard, while Jackson was an incredible defensive player.
It didn't take the Fab Five long to live up to the hype. After going 14-15 the year before, the Fab Five led Michigan to a 25-9 record and going to the 1992 NCAA Championship Game where they lost to Duke. The following year, the Fab Five returned to the National Championship Game but fell short again to the hands of North Carolina. After his sophomore year, Webber left for the NBA where he became the first pick in '94 Draft. The very next year, Rose and Howard left school and were lottery picks. King and Jackson stayed all four years with the Wolverines.
Just as important as their accomplishments on the court was the way they changed the game. They were the first team in college basketball to incorporate the hip-hop culture into their style. They wore baggy shorts, they shaved their heads, they had tattoos and they wore black socks with black shoes. They walked with a swagger and attitude that was never seen before in the game. They were responsible for many fashion trends and inspired many players in the way they dressed and acted.
Where are they Now?
Four of the five members of the Fab Five went on to play in the NBA. Webber, Rose and Howard all went on to have long careers in the NBA and each were an All Star. Only Webber is the only one still playing in the NBA. Jimmy King played briefly in the NBA and also played professionally in Europe. Jackson played pro in some of the country's minor leagues and is now a business owner.