King fulfilled a promise almost three decades later.
The Fab Five’s cultural impact is undeniable and everything they did resonated loudly in college basketball and within the culture. Now, 32 years after the five assembled on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, a Fab Five member has made another move that speaks volumes.
Jimmy King, who played alongside Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard and Ray Jackson, returned to his Alma mater, completed his education and earned his degree.
And this time he achieved success not with his teammates but with his daughter, Madison.
4 years later, he completed 21 credit hours through the University of Phoenix, but only 16 transferred, so he was 8 credits shy of fulfilling his promise to his family.
“Then, of course, life got in the way again,” said King in a story in the Detroit News.
Fortunately for King, Madison reinvigorated his effort to earn his degree. She was beginning her final year at Michigan last fall, and that’s when the idea was first formulated, in a competitive way, of course.
He jokingly said that he couldn’t have his daughter complete her degree (in communications) before he did, so he decided to join her to finally finish up his education.
“What do you think about me coming back to school and we graduate and walk together,” he asked Madison.
She thought it was a great idea and was all in.
Once she gave her father her blessing, he knew he couldn’t fail her or the promise made long ago to his family, so he dug in starting in January with a six-credit writing class and a two-credit course on American culture and history.
Four months later, he completed the requirements for a degree in communications.
“He says I gave him a lot of courage – which I think is very flattering – but I think he found that in himself,” said Madison. “Maybe he did derive some from me, but he had to have found that in himself, because it takes a lot.”
The transition couldn’t have been easy.
When he was last at Ann Arbor, technology was nowhere near what they are now. As a matter of fact, most students had word processors or had to use the computer lab to complete their work. Now Wifi and laptops are the norm in every dorm room.
But the most difficult challenge for the former Fab Fab star was the fact that he was in a classroom with students his daughter’s age.
“I was sitting in class, and the students are anywhere from 18 to early 20s, and we’re discussing and studying a little history, and it’s the 90s,” said King.
This content has been brought to you by First and Pen in partnership with TheHub.News. First and Pen “amplifies local sports stories from voices of color to the national conscience…”