It looks like Chris Webber, the centerpiece of Michigan’s legendary Fab Five, will be returning to Michigan this fall.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh invited Webber to be an honorary captain this fall during an appearance Friday afternoon on WTKA’s “The M Zone” show with host Jamie Morris. Webber was a guest on the show and accepted the offer. The station was running its second "Michigan From the Heart Radiothon" that benefits CS Mott Children's Hospital on Friday.
“I want to make an official invitation,” said Harbaugh, who called into the show to speak to Webber. “Chris, I want you to be an honorary captain for the Michigan football team next season.”
Webber was clearly touched.
“Coach, you know that’s no problem,” Webber said. “I definitely am honored. As you know, and getting to speak to you over the years, I love what you've done with the program. Good luck, and yeah, I’m definitely doing to be be a part of it.”
Webber’s relationship with Michigan and the other four members of the Fab Five has been strained. After helping the Wolverines to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA national championship game in 1992 and 1993, he left for the NBA after his sophomore season.
His name became closely tied to the Ed Martin booster scandal. The NCAA mandated a 10-year disassociation between Webber and Michigan.
Meanwhile, the other Fab Five members — Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson — have a solid relationship with Michigan.
Webber told Harbaugh he has followed the team’s spring trips overseas and joked that he is going to “jump into a suitcase” to go with the Wolverines to Africa next year.
"You're a 'Go Blue' guy all the way. You can come with us, absolutely,” Harbaugh said. “You don't have to go into a suitcase, either.”
Harbaugh said Webber will have to pick the game for which he will be captain.
“I would definitely be honored, coach, and you know I would do anything for you,” Webber said. “You know, the No. 4's at Michigan, we’ve got to stick together."
Webber then asked Harbaugh how he feels about his team and the upcoming season.
“Never better,” Harbaugh said. “Everything is going well. The players are getting strong. They’re getting along. They enjoy each other’s company. There’s tremendous work being done here. The coaches have done the same. Everybody has been competent. Everybody is doing their job. Just really all pulling together to do something great this year. You really feel it right now.”
Webber again told Harbaugh he is “honored” by the request and Harbaugh said it would mean “a lot” to the football program for him to participate.
Before Harbaugh left the show, Webber had one last comment.
“I love those Jordan uniforms, too, coach,” he said. “Way to shake the game up.”
Later in the show, Webber spoke about his time at Michigan and working with the children at Mott Hospital.
“I’m just proud to have been a Wolverine throughout my time there, and more importantly, proud of my association with great men and great organizations like 'Michigan From the Heart' where we can make a big impact," Webber said.