The University of Michigan Wolverines have had one of the most successful basketball programs in the NCAA. Though the program’s wildly successful “Fab Five” team from the 1990s has been tarnished by a financial scandal that voided their records, four of the five reached the NBA and three had long successful careers. The top five NBA players from Michigan include Fab Five stars Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, and Jalen Rose.
A leading member of the Fab Five Wolverines teams, power forward Chris Webber was one of the greatest NBA players from the University of Michigan. Webber’s two seasons at Michigan each ended in the national championship game as he averaged 17.4 points and 10.0 rebounds with the Wolverines. He was the top overall pick of the 1993 NBA Draft, earning the Rookie of the Year Award with the Warriors. He spent the most successful stint of his career as a member of the Sacramento Kings from 1998 to 2005. Webber posted five straight seasons of more than 20 points and ten rebounds per game, making four of his five All-Star teams in Sacramento. He retired in 2008 as one of the NBA’s top 100 all-time leaders with 17,182 points, 8,124 rebounds, 1,200 blocks, and 1,197 steals.
One of the best NBA players from the University of Michigan, Rudy Tomjanovich was an All-America college player, an NBA All-Star, and a championship coach. In three years with the Wolverines, Rudy T averaged 25.1 points and 14.4 assists per game to become the second overall pick of the 1970 NBA Draft. He spent his entire 11-year career in Houston, participating in five All-Star Games. He twice averaged a double-double and bested 20 points per game four times.
An elite shooter and scorer throughout the 1990s, small forward Glen Rice was one of the top NBA players from the University of Michigan. In his senior season, Rice guided the Wolverines to the 1989 NCAA Championship with 25.6 points per game with a .516 three-point shooting percentage. He went on to become one of the NBA’s historic great shooters, ranking eighth all-time with 1,559 three point baskets on .400 accuracy. He averaged better than 20 points per game six times with the Heat and Hornets, retiring with 18,336 points in 1,000 career games.
Another member of the Fab Five, power forward Juwan Howard has played 16 seasons so far as one of the top NBA players from Michigan. Howard had a great start to his professional career in Washington, averaging 18.4 points and 7.4 rebounds in seven years with the Bullets/Wizards. He became an All-Star in 1996 as he averaged career-highs of 22.1 points and 4.4 assists along with 8.1 boards. He has since made stops in Dallas, Denver, Orlando, Houston, Charlotte, and Portland, and has totaled 15,957 points through the 2009-10 season. In the 2010 offseason, Howard signed a contract to play for the Miami Heat.
Fab Five swingman Jalen Rose played 13 seasons as one of the best NBA players from the University of Michigan. Though he was a late bloomer in the pros, Rose had a brilliant prime as a star for the Pacers, Bulls, and Raptors. He had his breakout season in 1999-00 when he leaped from 11.1 to 18.2 points per game. That started a six season stretch in which Rose tallied averages of 19.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. He retired in 2007 with 13,220 points in his career.
NBA & ABA Players Who Attended University of Michigan. Basketball-Reference.com