Former NBA star Chris Webber will take time out from his work as a television analyst for Turner Sports to teach a master’s-level course on sports, race and society at Wake Forest, starting in fall 2016. The course is part of the school’s master of arts in sports storytelling program, which is run by the Documentary Film Program at Wake Forest.
“I’m excited to bring real-life experience to the program. Sports are my passion and telling stories about sports is my new career,” Webber said in a statement released by Wake Forest. “I’ve been involved with the NBA for nearly 25 years, and I understand firsthand how sports, business, race, gender and economics mesh. Sports storytelling gives us a platform to explore these issues in an academic setting. I’m looking forward to not only sharing my own experiences, but learning from students how sports has had an impact on their own lives.”
Officially, Webber was hired as a professor of practice. In other words, a non-tenure-track teacher who is hired because of the skills and expertise he has gained in his non-academic career.
Peter Gilbert, producer of the 1994 basketball documentary “Hoop Dreams,” is a professor in the Documentary Film Program and served as the connection between Wake Forest and Webber. In 2012, he and Webber formed Webber Gilbert Media Group, “a multimedia production company that produces feature films and documentaries focusing on the intersection of sports, culture and society,” according to the Raleigh News & Observer.
“If we’re going to understand ourselves as a society, we have to understand sports, its culture and how it affects us every day,” Gilbert said in the Wake Forest news release. “Sports storytelling students will graduate with the expertise to tell the stories behind the stories of the 24/7 news cycle — the ones that fuel conversations.”
Part of the Fab Five that propelled Michigan to the national title game in 1992 and 1993, Webber left college after just two years. He played 15 NBA seasons and was named an all-star five times.