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The University Of Michigan Fab Five

1236 words - 5 pages

There seems to be a fine line, a three-point line, between pushing the envelope and pushing a revolution. In 1991, five freshmen from the University of Michigan brashly stepped over that line redefining the world of college basketball as we knew it and in the process, revolutionized the relationship between style and sport. These men were "fresh" in more ways than one, causing an entire nation to dub them fabulous. They brought a hip and a hop to a game that was previously flat. Anyone following college basketball loved or hated to love the "Fab Five," evincing that either way five things were on people's minds or television screens. Whether you were a kid begging your mom to take you to a sporting goods store, like I was, to "get those black Nike socks" for your next game, or an adult watching through squinting eyes as five pairs of extra large shorts and swagger loomed over your favorite team's home court, you were full of awe.
Chris Webber, Jimmy King, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, and Ray Johnson manifested a transformation of style through oversized attitude and clothing. Since then, it seems to me that whoever got a chance to know these guys from the stands or sofa has been aching for a taste of that envelope that they pushed back in the early nineties. Every kid whose favorite show was Saved by the Bell and whoever seriously competed in basketball wants to be the one who pulls his shorts down past his hips when his mom told him to pull up before his game and play so well that he receives no verbal assault on the way back to the car. I'm left wondering what these five guys were really about, and why they decided to revolutionize the attitude of the game they played. After all, they seemed to plan the revolution on a whim—or even more possibly—out of habit.
Salivating over Comcast Sportsnet's Beyond The Glory: "The Fab Five" I can't help but wondering what it would have been like to part of such a special fraternity. With a grin on his face and hands over knees, Juwan explains how they became five: "Back then high school basketball players weren't legitimate pro prospects so blue chip recruits would call other blue chip recruits in order to sway their decision." The more details about his pursuit of the other four, the more his grin grows, "I knew if I could get Jalen I could get Chris since they were both from Detroit. Ray, on the other hand, was a whole different story." Being from Texas and the son of a Preacher, Ray's decision really wasn't his. Ray's father made it clear that school and family come before basketball. Impersonating his father's initial response Ray can't help but get animated "Michigan? Ray you've never seen snow!" But when decision making time came Michigan's prestigious academic history, a full scholarship, and combined with the Ray's constant badgering was "the right choice" according to the Preacher. The fifth guy was Jimmy. Juwan didn't even have to call him. Before Jimmy was even off the phone with Coach Steve...

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