The High Five: raising your hand to hit the palm of your friend after a happy moment; we teach it to our kids, we do it at the office, at a little league game, and watching any sport. OH yes, I did my research, the Dodgers did it first, the volleyball players did it first, but we all remember when Magic Johnson and Greg Kelser did it in 1978. Why? Michigan State University basketball team had the magic and Magic.

I became a huge basketball fan, adjusting the rabbit ears, bringing out the tin foil, because the young man I loved (who became my husband) loves all competitive sports. Reading the sports page of the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News, Sports Illustrated, I couldn’t get enough of MSU basketball.

The High Five went viral in the high school I taught in 1979. We did the High Five in class and in the teacher’s lounge. We gave out high fives, we got high fives back. It became a terrific intrinsic teaching tool.

The Midwest Division I schools waited for the big game between Larry Bird and Indiana State number one ranked team and Magic Johnson from MSU to see who had the best skills. Two enormously talented young men with great personalities; Larry Bird and IU were the number one team; but in the NCAA finals, MSU won 75-64. To this day, it remains the highest-rated game in the history of televised college basketball.

Magic and his wingman, Greg Kelser taught the fans the High Five. Maybe they did High Five a couple of times in volleyball and Dodgers- but Magic Johnson with his happy smile and wingman, Greg Kelser, made it real for America.

The High Five- Made in America.


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