The best recruiting class in NCAA history came in and changed the game. Before they came to college, players still wore short shorts and the only people caught wearing black socks on a basketball court were 60-year olds trying to be young again. They changed the game with their great basketball skills, and their swagger. The road to greatness wasn't very easy for some though; they lived a tough life, and used that as motivation to drive them to greatness. They were are Michigan's Fab Five.
In spring of 1991, the University of Michigan signed what was arguably the best recruiting class in the history of college basketball. Coach Steve Fisher 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 turned into McDonald's All Americans. The 6'9" power forward, Webber, was regarded as the number one player in the nation. Rose was a tall guard standing 6'7", 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 capped off the Fab Five Freshman. While Jackson was an incredible defensive player, King was a super athletic guard [Wieberg].
Growing up wasn’t exactly easy for the “Fab Five,” most grew up poor, and the only thing keeping them from leading a life of crime was basketball. Jalen Rose grew up on south side of Detroit, and saw dope and weed everyday on his way to school [ESPN 30 for 30]. Jalen Rose never knew his father; they spoke a few times over the phone when he was older, but growing up Jalen never knew his professional basketball playing father [ESPN 30 for 30]. Jalen’s dads name was Jimmy Walker, he was selected number one overall in the 1967 NBA draft. Jalen used the fact that he never knew his dad, and that he was famous as motivation wearing the number 42 in high school, and not 24 like his dad [ESPN 30 for 30].
Juwan Howard went to Chicago Vocational Career Academy, a small school that didn’t even have locker rooms. Juwan’s mother Helena was seventeen when she gave birth to Juwan. Howards father was just returning from the Army, and once they realized she was pregnant got married. For the first week of Juwans life he slept in a dresser drawer. His parents they weren’t ready to raise a child [Milbert Neil]. Juwan was then adopted by his grandmother Jannie Mae Howard, and lived with her in a three bedroom apartment in Chicago. During recruiting visits from coaches Jannie did most the questioning while Juwan just sat there [Milbert Neil]. On the day Juwan decided to sign with Michigan Jannie passed away. With a heart full of sorrow, he signed to Michigan.
Mayce Edward Christopher Webber III was born on March 1st, 1973. Chris, as everyone called him, lived in a tough lower-middle-class Detroit neighborhood with few positive economic and social opportunities, Webber benefited from a close-knit family with...