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What are the most famous NBA players from Michigan University?

With the University of Michigan Wolverines making a real statement in the first round, we take a look at Wolverines in the NBA, both past and present

Mar 17, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Eli Brooks (55) controls the ball against Colorado State Rams guard Kendle Moore (3) in the second half during the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory C
Trevor RuszkowskiUSA TODAY Sports

With the eleventh ranked Michigan Wolverines taking down the number six Colorado State Rams in the first round, we thought that we might take a look at the NBA talent that have worn the maize and blue.

Current players include veterans like the Mavericks’ Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway and rookies like the Pistons’ Isaiah Livers and Franz Wagner in Orlando. And while they are solid players, the current best came through different colleges. That is not to say that today’s crop won’t be tomorrow’s NBA legends.

For the best Wolverines ever to grace the NBA, you have to reach back a little further in time to the heyday of the program in the ’70s and ’80s. The undisputed king of the NBA Wolverines is Chris Webber.

The most prominent and successful member of the Fab Five recruiting class of 1991, Webber is primarily remembered by college basketball fans for calling a timeout the Wolverines didn’t have in the final seconds of the 1993 NCAA title game.

Selected by the Orlando Magic with the top pick of the 1993 NBA Draft, he was immediately shipped off to the Golden State Warriors. The NBA Rookie of the Year in 1994, he didn’t stay there long either, opting out of his contract and forcing his trade to the Washington Bullets.

After a stellar career with the Bullets, Kings, 76ers and Pistons, he returned to the Warriors to finish out his career, retiring as a five-time All-Star, the league's rebounding champion in 1999 and a one-time All-NBA First Team selection.

Part of that same generation, Glen Rice spent 15 years in the NBA, starting off fast after being drafted by Miami in 1989. Rice became one of the premiere three-point shooters in the NBA sunk over 130 from behind the arc in six consecutive seasons both in Miami and later with the Charlotte Hornets.

After tenures with the Lakers, the Knicks, and Rockets, Rice retired with over 18,000 points, an NBA All-Star Game MVP, and an NBA Championship ring.

Cazzie Russell, Rudy Tomjanovich, Jalen Rose, if you are looking for great Wolverine talent in the NBA, there are some legendary names to look out for. They are not that difficult to spot. Who knows? In years to come we may be talking about some of the current student athletes with the same reverence.


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