Chris Webber Honored With BESLA Award, Talks New Memoir During Fireside Chat At GSU School Of Law

The Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA) presented NBA Hall of Famer, Fab Five member, and philanthropist, Chris Webber, with its esteemed Beacon of Industry Award during their 2024 Mid-Year Conference.

This accolade comes immediately after the release of Webber’s much-anticipated memoir, “By God’s Grace,” which dives into the depths of his experiences, triumphs, and tribulations. From his formative years as a member of the iconic Fab Five to his stellar tenure in the NBA. 

Reflecting on the timing of his book release, Webber said, “Now is the time because I’ve had time to retire and look back at my career.” He expressed gratitude for the unwavering support he received throughout his journey. 

“By God’s Grace definitely has a message,” Webber said. “But I don’t think you have to be a believer to know that you benefit from God’s Grace.”

Indeed, the memoir serves as a heartfelt tribute to the village that raised him, the mentors who guided him, and the myriad of individuals whose influence shaped his path. 

“All of the people that have been there, the coaches, the friends, and the words of different angels that have just come along,” Webber continued. “I really just want to go back and honor all of the people in my life.”

Moreover, throughout his illustrious career, Webber has navigated highs and lows with fortitude. From the pinnacles of athletic success to the depths of personal challenges.

“Twelve years old was a wonderful time, but it also began to get lonely because I had to make decisions or take the weight of the world on my shoulders as if I was an adult,” Webber recalls. “So for me, going back to who recruited the manipulation, the lies, the setup, the judge. All of the letters I got saying I’m sorry after I got in the Hall. I just needed time to sit with myself and say thank you. And to not become bitter.”

“By God’s Grace,” however, is not just a reflection of past trials and triumphs; it is a celebration of faith, resilience, and the enduring power of love. 

“I’m glad that the mentality of my mother and father was instilled in me because whether I’m twelve or I’m going up against Shaq and he’s the most powerful man in the world. I still have mama and daddy’s heart,” Webber said. 

Furthermore, Webber recounted the feelings he felt amidst the harsh backlash he and other Black teammates received as players at the University of Michigan and as members of the Fab 5.

“Out of 14,000 students there may have been 800 Black students,” Webber said. “I went from a school that had 500 kids kindergarten to senior to having lectures with 4,000 people. You would feel like you were out of place. But we had the strength. It was a concerted effort. We knew that we had to be there for each other. We knew we had to be ourselves and not get caught up in something else, however we better be smart with how we move. It was one of the most wonderful things ever to be with five guys that had the same incentive and the same background, even if they were from Texas or Chicago. We all had the common knowledge to draw strength from.” 

Amidst the accolades and achievements, Webber remained grounded and steadfast in the values instilled by his parents and cherished the bond he shared with lifelong friends like Jalen Rose. “He and I met at twelve years old. His first practice we hated each other. Second practice, we’ve been best friends since that day,” Webber said. 


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