Two years ago, Jimmy King and Jalen Rose led the charge to institute the inaugural, ‘Fab 5′ Camp. King, residing in Birmingham, Michigan and Rose, a Detroit-native, stay very much involved within the community. With programs such as; Detroit PAL, NBA Retired Players Association, NBA Cares and Roses’ tuition-free, Jalen Rose Leadership Academy paving the way to a new venture, the ‘Fab 5’ Camp, to continue their storied legacy.
Previously held at the O3 Sports Training Complex, in Saline, Michigan, the ‘Fab 5’ Camp moved to a new location, Liberty School, to host a new class of camp-goers. To go along with the move, the camp extended to 5 days, from the previous 4-day experience.
Jimmy King was enamored with the reception of the camp, in it’s 3rd year, “It’s been great, the anticipation has grown and the participation has grown. Overall it gives the campers the ability and the coaches the ability to get more one-on-one training, which is important for the Fab 5 Camp”.
Guests come far and wide to take part in the ‘Fab 5’ Camp, including the returning, Laura Townsend, a University of Michigan alum from New Jersey. Laura’s daughter, Sydney participated in her 2nd year with the camp, last week. “Long before coming to the camp, she’s always known that I’m a proud Wolverine. Die-hard, Maize and blue, everything, so when she was getting more into playing basketball, suddenly she wanted to do brackets, she was into NCAA, and she actually was the one who said, ‘there’s a Fab 5 camp!’ She was absolutely adament in fact, I actually told her, whether it was her baby-sitting money, birthday money, that she had to pay for half of it and she did! This is what she wanted to do. We planned this summer around when Fab 5 camp is again, so this is something that is the central point of her basketball camp plans for the year.”
Laura on what keeps her and Sydney coming back, “She just loves it. The drills, the interaction, she loves that the coaches remembered her and Jimmy remembers her. The attention that they pay to each of the kids. The camaraderie and feeling of community that even though we don’t live here, that the feeling of community that this (camp) instills”.
No stranger to travel, Jalen Rose, straight off a plane from Los Angeles, took time out of his busy schedule to lend a helping hand to the camp. “That’s Jalen. That’s who he is. My brother. Whatever you need, I got you and he’s here”. ‘Fab 5’ members, Ray Jackson and Juwan Howard, due to coaching obligations for NBA Africa, were unable to attend. Chris Webber remains estranged from the ‘Fab 5’ and Camp, however, Rose spoke about Webber’s return could be ‘catalyst’ for Fab Five reunion during his annual golf outing over the weekend.
Almost 30 years since they ‘shocked the world’, they’re still being talked about today. It’s undetermined when or if, a full reunion will happen. As the world clamors for a proper celebration of the University of Michigan’s ‘Fab 5’, Jimmy King understands and appreciates the significance of it all, but his legacy isn’t defined by a ‘resolution’. It’s the impact, fundamentals and class of how the ‘Fab 5’ conducted themselves during those years and how that carries over to future generations.
“We ain’t that old! With the parents bringing their kids because the parents grew up with us, you know, they were in school either just before or with us or just after us. The impact that we had during that time was big enough to resinate that they’re bringing their kids, exposing them to the Fab 5, our style of play, our teaching and you know, the kinda way we changed the ascetics of the game. You could tell the ones who were impacted from that time. They’re the ones that come through with the black socks and black shoes, baggy shorts and the Michigan gear, so we appreciate that.”