In the early 90s, every basketball fan knew the Michigan college basketball team known as the “Fab Five.” The Fab Five consisted of a top 85 player, Ray Jackson, and four American rookies from the 1991 recruiting class, Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, and Juwan Howard.
Although no one on this basketball team has ever won the NCAA championship, they still leave a legacy with Michigan basketball history and in the hearts of fans. ESPN has put The Fab Five’s moves on the court into a documentary. Many viewers have rated it as one of the best shows on ESPN.
To learn more about “What college basketball team’s stars were nicknamed the fab five“, continue reading this article with Scott Fujita.
What College Basketball Team’s Stars Were Nicknamed “The Fab Five” in the ’90s
One day in 1992, the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines Team, Steve Fisher, decided to use five first-year students on the roster against Notre Dame.
The main reason for Fisher’s choice was that high school student Michael Talley missed Friday’s rehearsal. Ray Jackson was the alternative at the time.
Perhaps Fisher himself did not expect this lineup to become so popular and successful later on. The all-freshman lineup carried the 15th-placed Wolverines to a 74-65 victory over Notre Dame.
The leader is Jalen Rose, with 20 points. Chris Webber scored a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Likewise, Juwan Howard added 13 points and 14 rebounds. Ray Jackson scored 4 points.
The stellar performance opened the gates of fame and controversy for the five students. They also became associated with the Michigan nickname “Fabulous Fab Five” ever since.
Let’s explore each member in more depth via this section.
The first member of the Fab Five, Chris Webber, attended high school at Detroit Country Day in Michigan. He was the top player in the class of 1991 and chose Michigan among other choices. Webber is also the owner of the MVP award in the McDonald’s All-Star game and the high school player of the year award.
Chris Webber’s position in the first year is a power forward with absolute dominance in the backboard area. He amassed 340 rebounds and 54 steals, numbers leading the Big Ten. On average per game, Webber scored a double-double with career stats of 15.5 PPG and 10.0 RPG.
Chris Webber was a key player in leading the Wolverines to the National Championship game. His record at the NCAA tournament is impressive.
Webber is the owner of the USBWA Freshman of the Year award and the Big Ten Rookie of the Year. He also appeared on All-Region teams and the 1992 NCAA All-Tournament.
People also remember Webber calling a timeout when there were only 11 seconds left on the game clock. It caused the Michigan team to commit a technical foul and lose to North Carolina.
You can watch this video for a more intuitive view.
The NBA career of Webber started under the Orlando Magic jersey but was soon traded to the Golden State Warriors. In 2002, Chris Webber got into the most considerable trouble with the University of Michigan’s booster money scandal.
In the aftermath of that Michigan basketball scandal, Webber’s name was removed entirely from the records of this university. However, when he returned to Michigan Stadium in 2018 for a football game, the audience still happily greeted him.
Currently, his main job is as an NBA analyst on TNT. He also acted in films as the Preacher at Uncle Drew. The influences of Chris Webber are still profound today.
Chris Webber vs. Jalen Rose
Jalen Rose was a star at Southwestern High School. He was recruited to Michigan as the number six player in the nation. In her first season alone, Rose set the school freshman scoring record with 597 points.
Thanks to his efforts to bring Michigan to the NCAA finals in 1992, Jalen Rose was featured on the NCAA All-time Tournament and All-Region teams. His image also appeared in cinema with the worth watching movie Hoop Dreams.
With an average of 17.6 points per game, Jalen Rose leads the Fab Five on this metric and is an excellent shooter. He is both the point guard and the leader of the team.
After junior year, Jalen Rose left school and started her NBA career. He was on the 1994 Denver Nuggets draft, but the Indiana Pacers were Rose’s critical team. In 2007, he ended his NBA career at the Phoenix Suns.
An active member of both football and basketball teams, the athletic mindset of Rose is steady. He scored more than 1700 points, 400 rebounds, 400 assists, and 100 steals in his game time.
Jalen Rose’s career continues to flourish in the analyst and producer segments. He is a co-host on two talk shows, Get Up! and Jalen & Jacoby of ESPN.
The movie Fab Five produced by Rose was a huge hit. Plus, he is also the author of the New York Times bestseller, Got to Give the People What They Want.
Juwan Howard attended high school at the Chicago Vocational Career Academy. Although he was not destined to become a basketball player, Howard was ranked 3rd in the nation.
At the Michigan Wolverines Team, Juwan Howard showed his solidity and superhuman defense. His offensive ability is also very stable, so Howard quickly becomes the mainstay of the Fab Five.
Juwan Howard played 19 seasons in the NBA and was an assistant coach at the Miami Heat for five. He has played for eight different franchises, including Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, Charlotte Bobcats, Portland Trail Blazers, and Miami Heat.
His average stats are 13.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 2.3 APG. Juwan Howard is also the first and only member of the Fab Five to own the NBA Championship. He won it with the Heats in 2012 and 2013, beating Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs in NBA finals.
Jimmy King began his basketball career at Plano East Senior High School, a city north of Dallas. He and Ray Jackson chose to dedicate themselves to the University of Michigan during their four years of study and not graduate early.
In the 1995 NBA Draft second round, Jimmy King was selected in 35th place by the Toronto Raptors. His career included 64 games in two seasons for the Raptors and Denver Nuggets. King mainly developed his career playing for a CBA team, Quad City Thunder.
In the 1996-97 season, he retired with an average of 4.5 PPG. Jimmy King also served as a financial advisor to Merrill Lynch on Wall Street. He was also a black radio commentator for the 2008-09 Michigan Wolverines season. Currently, Jimmy King is the coach of the men’s basketball team at Ecorse Community High School.
You can also catch him on television through the talk show King and Foster.
In the Fab Five lineup, Ray Jackson is probably the least noticeable member. He graduated from Lyndon B. Johnson Early College High School and ranked 84th nationally. Jackson’s stats are not too impressive because he was not in original Michigan starting line-up.
Unfortunately, Ray Jackson is the only Fab Five member who does not participate in any NBA games. He went after CBA when he received an offer from Grand Rapids Hoops in the third round. Jackson’s rookie season was perfect with the 1995-96 CBA Rookie of the Year award.
Ray Jackson went back and forth between playing for Hoops and competing in France or Argentina during his CBA career. He ended his career in Venezuela.
Jackson is the founder of a nonprofit promoting education in the Texas area through basketball called Rise Up Inc.
The Fab Five remains an immortal monument to the University of Michigan and basketball fans. Each squad member has achieved specific successes in their careers and influenced the NCAA, NBA, and even CBA tournaments.
Who is your favorite team member of the Fab Five? Please share your thoughts with us.
Thank you for reading!