Remembering Michigan’s Fab Five


 Fab Five pic

Fab Five

Harvard Business School graduate Keith Clinkscales established Shadow League Digital in 2011 and expanded his professional activities two years later by joining Revolt Media. Keith Clinkscales previously served as the senior vice president of content development and enterprises at ESPN, during which time he worked on one of ESPN’s most watched documentaries, The Fab Five.

An ESPN Films documentary, The Fab Five follows the Michigan Wolverines’ men’s basketball team led by Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson, better known as the Fab Five. Attracting 2.7 million viewers on its initial airing in 2011, The Fab Five instantly became ESPN’s highest-rated documentary.

The Fab Five is often cited as the greatest recruitment class in the history of collegiate basketball, twice reaching the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. Unfortunately, as chronicled in the documentary, both of these runs and a host of additional victories have since been vacated due to Chris Webber and other players accepting illegal compensation, thereby relinquishing their statuses as amateur athletes. Partly as a result of this controversy, and partly due to the team’s on-court antics, sometimes seen as disrespectful, the Fab Five transcended college sports and became cultural figures.

That said, the team’s collective talent could not be denied. Entering their freshman year, four of the Fab Five had been named McDonald’s All Americans, a single team record that stood until 2013. In several games, the Fab Five scored all or the vast majority of Michigan’s points. Moving forward, four of the Wolverines starters reached the NBA, with Howard, Rose, and Webber enjoying varying degrees of stardom.

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