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Webber, Chris

Founder, The Chris Webber Foundationchrisweber

Millions of fans know Chris Webber best for his outstanding athletic ability on the basketball court but C-Webb, as he is affectionately known, leads the pack in more than just sports. Businessman, broadcaster and philanthropist are also a part of his impressive repertoire.

Demonstrating impressive leadership abilities at a young age, Webber’s “win-win” attitude, along with his ability to inspire others, propelled his Detroit Country Day High School basketball team to an unprecedented three Michigan state high school basketball titles. At the University of Michigan, Webber excelled at an even higher level. As one-fifth of the Wolverines’ all-freshmen line-up, dubbed the “Fab Five,” Webber helped give college basketball a facelift as well as set fashion trends. Millions fell in love with the Fab Five as they made consecutive NCAA Finals appearances in 1992 and 1993. Along the way, they set some of the highest television ratings, merchandise sales marks and attendance records in NCAA history. Not only was Webber the first player in history to make the NCAA All-Tournament team as both a freshmen and a sophomore but, when he entered the NBA Draft in 1993, he became the first college sophomore since fellow Michigan native and NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson to garner the #1 overall pick.

The NBA only added more spark to Webber’s fire. As a member of the Golden State Warriors, he became the first NBA rookie to score more than 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 250 assists, 150 blocks and 75 steals on his way to sealing the NBA Rookie of the Year crown. A five-time NBA All Star, as well as five-time All NBA first and second team member, Webber, as a leader of the Sacramento Kings, spurred his team onto unprecedented playoff appearances as well as the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers in 2002. Webber is only the sixth player in NBA history to average over 20 points (20.7), nine rebounds (9.8) and four assists (4.2) per game in his career, joining Basketball Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Elgin Baylor and Billy Cunningham, and future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett. The Sacramento Kings retired Chris Webber’s #4 jersey in February 2009 with a two-minute standing ovation.

Far from one-dimensional, especially when it comes to the business of basketball, the Detroit native has made the most of his athletic ability off the court. In 2001, when he re-signed a multi-year deal with the Sacramento Kings, his contract made him the second highest paid player in NBA history. Capitalizing on his popularity, Webber has enjoyed endorsement opportunities with brands such as Coca-Cola, EA Sports, Sony Playstation, ESPN the Magazine, Fila, Nike, Pepsi, Carl’s Jr., THQ Wireless and New Era. His broad appeal has also resulted in innumerable television appearances and guest-starring spots including NYPD Blue, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live, FoxSports Beyond the Glory, ESPN’s Sexiest Athletes and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, as well as various shows on MTV, BET, TNT, VHI, the History Channel, Discovery Channel and Nickelodeon. In the world of print media, he’s graced the cover of Sports Illustrated twice and has been featured in various publications from The New York Times Magazine to Essence.

An active businessman, Webber has created, organized and led companies in various industries including the music, sports apparel, real estate and sports marketing industries. Currently, he co-owns a real estate development company, Maktub LLC, which focuses on redevelopment efforts in Chicago, IL. Webber opened his sports inspired and family-themed restaurant appropriately named “Center Court with C-Webb” in Sacramento, CA in November 2006 to great acclaim. Webber’s talents as a music producer manifested in the track “Blunt Ashes” on hip-hop artist Nas’s acclaimed album, Hip Hop Is Dead and “Surviving the Times” on Nas’s Greatest Hits. He is also an investor in the documentary “On the Shoulders of Giants,” a film project led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar involving Spike Lee, Herbie Hancock, Magic Johnson and Grant Hill, scheduled to kick off in the Spring of 2011. In 2008 Webber embarked on his most recent career as a Sports Broadcaster by joining the Emmy Award Winning TNT Broadcast Crew for Inside the NBA along with duties on NBATV.

A humanitarian at heart, Webber’s passion to give back inspires him every day. He grew up in a modest house not far from 6 Mile in Detroit, MI with his three brothers, sister and parents. Webber’s mother, a schoolteacher, inspired his love for reading and music, and his father, a longtime employee at the local General Motors plant, taught him the importance of loyalty, hard work and discipline. Those lessons were not forgotten when Webber reached the fame and fortune of the NBA. In 1993, he and his family quickly established The Chris Webber Foundation to spread those lessons to underprivileged youth and their families. In over a decade of service, The Chris Webber Foundation has provided toys, books, scholarships, school incentives, holiday presents and financial support to thousands of youth in the Detroit, Washington DC, Oakland, Atlanta, Sacramento and Philadelphia areas. In 2003, the Sacramento Kings presented him with the inaugural Oscar Robertson “Triple-Double” Award for his leadership and community service. That same year, Webber, who serves on the National Advisory Council for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, received the Make-A-Wish “Wishmaker of the Year” Award. In addition, he has received the NBA Community Assist Award twice (2003, 2006). The California Black Caucus recognized his efforts in 2005 and awarded him a resolution by the California Legislature and in 2007. The States of Michigan and Nevada have also recognized Webber for his devotion to the community. Currently, he serves as an ambassador for VH1 Save the Music.

Webber’s growing collection of African American artifacts and documents, a direct result of his personal interest in his heritage and culture, has also become a beacon of light for others. The collection, which features documents and letters from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, renowned scientist George Washington Carver, Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L’Overture as well as a treasured, rare first edition book of poems by Phillis Wheatley and a carte-de-viste and letter from Frederick Douglass, has exhibited in several locations to expose youth to African American history and culture. The collection is currently on display in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s “Freedom Sisters” Exhibit. Detailed information, images, links and educational resources are available on www.chriswebber.com so that youth from around the world can examine these priceless pieces of history and draw inspiration, as Webber has, from the leaders who produced them.


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"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."      

~Frederick Douglass