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November 15, 1991 - Image 23

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-11-15

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I

0 0

P )V TN' PIZZ SY

N
Nov. 14
Nov 21
Dec.2
Dec. 7
Dec. 9
Dec. 12
- Dec. 14
Dec. 16
Dec, 21
Dec. 28

,, s GO ]BLUE!
1991-92 WOLVERINE
MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

Cuban National Team
at Palace, Auburn Hills e 8 pm
Athletes in Action
at Palace, Auburn Hills - 8 pm
at Univ. of Detroit * 7:30 pm
at Cleveland State * 7:30 pm
CHICAGO STATE " 7:30 pm
EASTERN MICHIGAN " 7:30 pm
DUKE " 3:45 pm.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN " 7:30pm
RICE - 7:30 pm
-30 Citrus Bowl Tournament * TBA
at Orlando, Florida
Michigan vs. Brigham Young
at Iowa " 9:30 pm

Jan. 18
Jan. 21

at Illinois 3 pm
at Indiana e 7:30 pm

Jan. 25 WISCONSIN e 1 pm

Jan. 29
Feb. 2

at Michigan State s 8 pm
OHIO STATE * 1 pm

Feb. 5 NORTHWESTERN - 8 pm
Feb. 9 at Notre Dame " 1 pm
Feb. 12 IOWA " 8 pm
Feb. 15 MICHIGAN STATE * 8 pm
Feb. 19 MINNESOTA " 8 pm
Feb. 22 at Northwestern " 1 pm
Feb. 26 at Wisconsin " 8 pm
Mar. 3 at Ohio State * 7:30 pm
Mar. 8 INDIANA e TBA
Mar. 11 at Purdue * 8pm

0 S
Webber said, "I don't think it can
get more intense than it was in
high school. I've done an
interview with just about
everyone while I was in high
school. I'm not trying to be cocky,
but I don't think there can be any
more pressure."
Not even when ESPN's Chris
Berman said, "There is nothing
more exciting and dangerous than
unlimited potential. It sounds like
this guy is real special"?
Not even then.
Yet many freshman storm out of
high school thinking they can lick
college on the first try. And after
that first Econ exam they realize
that it's not going to be quite that
easy. It takes time. It takes
practice. It takes experience. Is
Webber any different from the
kid next to you in Psych 172?
Could it be that Webber really
does have a step up?
Yes.
Basketball has witnessed a
revolution over the last decade. A
rebirth. It started at the NCAA
Final Four in 1979 when two guys
named Magic and Larry picked
up a ball and said, "Hey, watch us
play, we're not bad!" They took
their one-of-a-kind show to the
NBA, and from that day forward
basketball became America's
game.
Chris Webber is a product of
that revolution. He grew up
watching Magic and Larry in the
NBA Finals. He spent long
summer nights dribbling on
empty playgrounds and practicing
no-look passes. le dreamed of
one day being the biggest kind of
star.
By the time Webber was old
enough to look at colleges there
was a throng of scouts sitting on
his front porch. When he walked
off the court after a hard fought
playoff game, video cameras and
reporters greeted him. Ie was the
focus of every coach's desire to
win big. He was in the center of a
basketball hurricane.
There were late night phone
calls. There were offers of bribes.
And there were far too many
people hanging around
pretending to be his best friend.
Some of the fun from those hot
summer nights on Detroit
playgrounds when it was just
Webber and an imaginary Magic
got lost along the way. Basketball
became a business. And Mayce
Webber became a business
manager when he thought wisely
enough to read 20 different books
on recruiting in order to protect
his most important client - his
son.
"At it's worst it was ten calls a
day, fifteen letters a day. It was
really so bad that you didn't want
to stay home. I'd go to my friends'
houses," Chris admitted.
So Chris Webber isn't your
average first-year student. He's

been through a lot already. Once
upon a time, things were
different. Do you think when
Cazzie Russell came to Michigan
he knew how to deal with the
press, deal with the fans, and deal
with the pressure? He was
probably just another intimidated
newcomer back in the mid-]%Os.
Russell had lessons to learn in
Ann Arbor. Webber, in contrast,
could teach a four-credit class on
dealing with the stress of big-time
basketball.
When important people like
Marty Blake, director of scouting
for the NBA, take an interest in
you, the pressure doesn't lessen.
"We had Webber rated as the
best player in the country last
year," Blake said. "He's an
impact player who will make a big
difference in a basketball
program. All indications say he'll
be a great pro."
A great pro? He's already going
to be a great pro, and he hasn't
even played in a regular season
collegiate game yet? But this is a
special case, and Blake is right.
Webber is a millionaire waiting to
happen. His prospects are so good
that Webber qualified for a
special insurance guarantee
offered by the NCAA called an
Exceptional Athlete Policy. In
other words, if Webber's career
was cut short by injury now,
according to Mayce, he'd be set
for life.
Ile has breakfast cereal
companies giddy with
anticipation just thinking about
signing the gentle giant. Not only
does he play like a future
superstar, but he smiles like one,
too. His big-toothed grin is
comforting all the way down to
the gums.
"He brings the whole package,"
said Michigan's new assistant
coach, Perry Watson. "IHe's a
great person, a great kid. lIe's the
perfect model for the student-
athlete. He's a tremendous
competitor.
"I've known Chris since he was
12, so I've been a Chris Webber
fan for a long time. And even
more than a fan, he and I have a
friendship."

0

camp. Watson didn't see any
problems with that. Another
critical relationship was
established in the life of Chris
Webber. The two are back
together again - it's funny how
paths cross - only now the camp
lasts most of the year and it
convenes in Crisler Arena.
U
With all his basketball

There's nothing more
important to Webber than his
family. The sacrifices they've
made for his basketball career
have been great, but the rewards
have been greater. Basketball
brought the family closer
together. It is a common goal.
"When it came to basketball
people always compared (my
brothers) to me, and they would

Rose, J
Howar
Whil
Michig
right ar
expect
someth
course,
Detroi
friends
togeth

.I'

2* NOBODY
KNOWS
UKE
.DOMINOS.
ow You e At ome.

Jan. 9

Jan. 11 at Minnesota . 2 pm
Jan.15 PURDUE # 8 pm

Mar. 15 Illinois, TBA

i

i
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t
1
}
1
c
t
c
1
1
t

CENTRAL CAMPUS
761-1111
East An St l

NORT H CAMPUS
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W. & S. QUAD A\REA
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HOURS: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday: 11:00 AM - 2:00 AM; Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 11:00 AM - 3:00 AM

Reporters surround Chris Webber last week at Media Day in Crisler Arena. Webb
from Detroit Country Day, has been hounded by college coaches and the media sin(
credentials, it's hard to believe hate that. They might've discov
that at first, Webber didn't even resented that a little bit. discov
want to play ball. Mayce Webber Consequently we'd get in fights. friends
knew that there was a tall kid But those fights have only ones ti
with huge hands and blossoming brought us closer to each other," "I hi
athletic ability living right under Webber said. how he
his own roof. Like most fathers, Webber, the oldest of five Michip
he also knew it was time for his children, has the hopes of the King s
son to start using those entire Michigan student body you th
developing skills. riding on his shoulders, but the But th
The Webbers signed their boy dreams of his family are beating that go
up to play in an AAU league. And in his heart. And that might mean But
on the very first night of practice even more. differe
the coach, Curtis Hervey, ran His little brother David recalls kind p
Chris into the ground. "My father with delight the time Chris gave bough
took me to practice and the coach him a basketball on Christmas. Or down
was mean," Chris said. "Ile just the autographs of Steve Smith he'll n
cussed and swore, and I said 'I and Derrick Coleman he from a
quit basketball.' collected for David another year. "Th
"One day I'm gonna beat him in I'm clc
ackage. He's a great basketball," David said. people
del for the student- Maybe. But not for a while. Webb<
,hOf course, Webber's decision to for eac
ous competitor' attend Michigan was a family Eacl
- Perry Watson decision. It's also been a sound Webb(
Michigan assistant coach decision. College has been good You m
to Webber so far. School's hard, down
"But my father wouldn't let me but he says his background at on'the
quit. He told me not to give up. Country Day, a school noted for screen
And you know, that coach who its strong academic program, has caption
did that then, he taught me how made things a lot easier. to play
to play basketball. I e was And college is just as much good,
responsible for me going to about friendship as it as anything Chri
Country Day in a way." else. On that count, Webber's everyt
Webber ended up winning two doing just fine, too. He's found nothin
AAUJ titles before he arrived at four companions, much like never
Michigan. One of them was with himself, with whom he spends at. ie
h ervey's team. Father knows almost all his free time. You on refi
best. might know them by name: Jalen contin

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'He brings the whole pa
person... the perfect mc
athlete. He's a tremend
In seventh grade Webber was
playing in a local basketball
tournament. Watson was coaching
his neighborhood team at that
time when he saw "this big kid
playing on another court." Of
course, that big kid was Webber.
And Watson knew he was only
going to get bigger.
The two got to talking and
Webber asked if he could attend
Watson's summer basketball

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