The story of Fab Five (University of Michigan)
There have been a number of famous recruiting classes in college basketball history, although none have been more notorious than the 1991 University of Michigan men's team. During two memorable years, Jimmy King, Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Ray Jackson, and Juwan Howard wowed the nation with a series of displays that gripped the nation, while also changing the face of college basketball forever.
All five of the players entered the 1991/92 season as freshmen, and due to this, few expected that they could all start for Michigan. Nevertheless, the youngsters quickly began to gain traction, and during a game against Notre Dame in February of 92, the Fabulous Five scored all of Michigan's 74 points. The game against Notre Dame was the first in which the five had started together, and from that point on, they didn't look back.
Dazzling the Nation
In the following months, the Fab Five continued to blow rival teams away, although, despite their evident talent, the team was gaining considerable criticism for their perceived trash-talking, showboating and an arrogant attitude on the court. Each of the five also had their own nickname. There was Jimmy, Nookie, C-Webb, J-Rose and Ray Dawg, and all five quickly became household names.
As noted, the Fab Five attracted plenty of criticism for their perceived arrogant attitudes, although the team also managed to win over many neutral fans thanks to their joy and enthusiasm for the game. The team's popularity also further exploded when Michigan signed a huge college sponsorship deal with Nike.
The deal between Nike and the Fab Five helped to popularise the combination of wearing baggy shorts with low black socks, and at a point in time when more than 40 million Americans were tuning into college games, the team's style and coolness only helped to elevate basketball amidst the backdrop of the hip-hop crazed 90s.
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