Chris Webber delivers speech at Sac State

Former Sacramento King spoke about overcoming obstacles and achieving success


Shaun Holkko

Basketball legend Chris Webber gives his keynote speech on Student Academic Success Day on Sept. 24 in the University Union Ballroom at Sac State.

Shaun Holkko, Social Media editor

Five-time NBA All-Star and former Sacramento Kings power forward Chris Webber spoke at Sacramento State on Monday as the keynote speaker of the school’s Student Academic Success Day.

Webber, who spent seven NBA seasons in Sacramento, spoke at Sac State to discuss his life, career and how he overcame adversity to achieve the success he has reached today. The theme of the event was “Achieving Success of Kings and Queens.”

“Success is your perspective,” Webber said. ”No one can define what success is. Success is a lifestyle and not a destination.”

Webber said to the audience in the University Union Ballroom that he thinks everyone should have their own version of success.

“If you are a first-year college student and no one ever in your family has gone to school before, and your mother and father worked to put you here, you can’t tell me you aren’t successful,” Webber said.

Webber said that he thinks the hardest moment in his life was the turning point.

Webber was playing in the University of Michigan’s second consecutive NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship looking to capture a national championship. With 11 seconds to play trailing by two, Webber called a timeout despite his team having none left, resulting in a technical foul and his team subsequently losing the game.

Feeling defeated by the hardest moment of his life, Webber said he sought out advice from his grandfather — who didn’t care about basketball.

“Define yourself by how you get up,” Webber’s grandfather told him.

It was in that moment that Webber said he realized the resilience he had himself to overcome his failure.

“My greatest talent is bouncing back,” Webber said. “99 percent of success is failure.”

Webber went on to have a successful career in the NBA being drafted first overall in 1993. He played for five teams in his 17-year career with his prime years as a Sacramento King. Webber’s seven-year tenure in Sacramento earned him his number four jersey retired and hanging in the rafters of the Golden 1 Center.

Webber averaged 20.7 ppg, 9.8 rpg and 4.2 apg in his career, according to Basketball Reference. He is now an analyst for NBA broadcasts on Turner Network Television.