The team is an integral part of the University of Michigan’s history. It brought the basketball program unprecedented levels of attention, passion, and controversy that still reverberate 25 years on.

Those events were also part of a larger cultural moment that raised difficult questions around race, class, amateurism, and big-time college sports.

A core part of the University of Michigan’s mission is to explore challenging issues like these in civil but unflinching ways. At U-M’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, which hosted this event, we believe that the liberal arts offer us ways to learn from even the most complex and challenging issues. The anniversary of a seminal moment in the University's history made this the right time and place to look back at the Fab Five’s legacy—what it meant then, and what it means now. 


Ray Jackson

President and Founder, RUIAAP

Assistant High School Basketball Coach

Jimmy King

Coordinator, Business and Community Partnerships

Head Coach, Boys' Varsity Basketball, Ecorse High School

Jalen Rose

ABC/ESPN Analyst and Founder, Jalen Rose Leadership Academy

Yago Colás

Professor of Comparative Literature and in the Residential College, LSA

Kevin Blackistone

Journalist and Visiting Professor of Journalism, University of Maryland

Billy Hawkins

Professor, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston

List of participants is tentative and subject to change.

You might also be interested in:

Residential College and comparative literature Professor Yago Colás shares stories about the history, culture, and power of sports in “Ball Don’t Lie,” a new video series from the College of LSA.

In this episode of "Ball Don’t Lie," Fab Five member Jimmy King talks with Professor Yago Colás about being part of a team that dominated on the court and in the national conversation about sports.

Yago Colás teaches the culture of sports in LSA, and his previous academic focus lay in studying fiction and narrative in relation to their social contexts. The title of his most recent book, Ball Don’t Lie, is playground slang used to suggest that an event in a basketball game either justifies or contradicts a contentious call.

Video by Natalie Condon