Jalen Rose had quite a few quotables during ESPN’s 30 For 30 on his “Fab Five” team mates at University Of Michigan, but none stood out more than his jab at Duke players. He characterized all Black students that were recruited by Duke as “Uncle Toms” and current NBA star Grant Hill–an alumnus of Duke–was clearly offended.
“I caution my fabulous five friends to avoid stereotyping me and others they do not know in much the same way so many people stereotyped them back then for their appearance and swagger,” he wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times.
Hill, who currently plays for the Phoenix Suns, wrote that he received an apology from Rose via Twitter before the show aired but is still unclear as to what his intentions were. However, he defended his upbringing and lets his record as an basketball player speak for itself.
“I come from a strong legacy of black Americans. My namesake, Henry Hill, my father’s father, was a day laborer in Baltimore. He could not read or write until he was taught to do so by my grandmother. His first present to my dad was a set of encyclopedias, which I now have. He wanted his only child, my father, to have a good education, so he made numerous sacrifices to see that he got an education, including attending Yale…I am proud of my family. I am proud of my Duke championships and all my Duke teammates. And, I am proud I never lost a game against the Fab Five.”