DATE: Saturday, October 8, 2016, 2:00 p.m.

EVENT:  The Fab 5 at 25—On the 25th anniversary of the Fab Five’s arrival on campus, U-M’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts will host an academic discussion about the team’s legacy and impact. The event will feature former players Ray Jackson, Jimmy King, and Jalen Rose, along with LSA Professor Yago Colás, University of Houston Professor Billy Hawkins, and journalist Kevin Blackistone.

The Fab Five raised important questions about race, class, amateurism, and big-time college sports, and they still stir passionate discussion today. Panelists will discuss this seminal moment in the University’s history—including the players’ cultural impact and the controversy that later emerged. The discussion will be followed by an audience Q&A.


For media attending the event, please RSVP via this Google form. Media are encouraged to enter through the west lobby doors off of Thayer Street for check-in and credentialing. All panelists will be available to credentialed media for a 15-minute post-event interview at the venue.

PLACE: Hill Auditorium (University of Michigan), 825 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

SPONSORS: University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; and U-M Athletics.

Yago Colás

Yago Colás, a lifelong lover and player of basketball, is a professor of comparative literature and arts and ideas in the humanities at the University of Michigan, where he teaches and writes about the intersection of sport, art, culture, and politics. In addition to his recently published book, Ball Don’t Lie! Myth, Genealogy, and Invention in the Cultures of Basketball (Temple University Press, 2016), Professor Colás has published his writing in various popular websites and in scholarly journals and has been featured in interviews and articles in such venues as and NPR.

Kevin Blackistone

Kevin Blackistone is a longtime national sports columnist. He now works at the Washington Post, as a panelist on ESPN’s Around the Horn, as a visiting professor at the University of Maryland, and as a commentator on National Public Radio. Blackistone is a recipient of numerous awards, including awards for sports column writing from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, for investigative reporting from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and for enterprise reporting from the National Association of Black Journalists. He was a Davenport Fellow at the University of Missouri and a Wharton Business Journalism Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

Billy Hawkins

Billy Hawkins is a professor at the University of Houston in the Department of Health and Human Performance. He is the author of numerous publications, and his teaching and research contributions are in the areas of sociology of sport and cultural studies, sport management, and sport for development. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in sport and cultural studies; a master’s of science degree in human performance from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse; and a bachelor of science in business administration from Webber International University.  

Ray Jackson

Ray Jackson is president and founder of Ray Jackson’s Rising Stars Academic Athletic Program, a nonprofit organization in Austin, Texas, that provides social, educational, and recreational opportunities for children from diverse backgrounds, many of whom have gone on to successful collegiate athletic careers. Jackson also currently serves as a community leader, mentor, and assistant high school basketball coach, in addition to running a successful moving and delivery company. He played for four years, from 1991 to 1995, on the U-M basketball team, averaging nearly 16 points per game his senior year.

Jimmy King

Jimmy King is the coordinator of business and community partnerships and head coach of the boys’ varsity basketball team at Ecorse High School in Ecorse, Michigan. Previously, he owned and operated J King Solar Technologies, specializing in alternative energy, and was the program director at H.Y.P.E. Athletics Community in metro Detroit. He played with U-M’s basketball team for all four years, averaging 15 points per game as a senior.

Jalen Rose

Jalen Rose is an ABC/ESPN analyst, executive producer of The Fab Five—the highest-rated documentary in ESPN history—and host of the Jalen Rose Report on Grantland and the Jacoby Podcast. Rose began his sports career at U-M, where he reached two NCAA title games, and then went on to play for six teams in the NBA. Rose established the Jalen Rose Foundation/Charitable Fund in 2000, personally donating close to $1.5 million to support the development and education of inner-city youths. He also established the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) in his hometown of Detroit.