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The Legend of Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain

Throughout the history of the National Basketball Association, the league is chock-full of legends who have made such a tremendous impact in this league. Indeed, there have been many great guards and forwards in this league. However, the league is full of legendary centers such as Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, and the late Bill Russell.

However, there are few centers that have made as significant an impact on the game as Wilt Chamberlain. Throughout his 15-year career, Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain has built a legacy that will remain in the annals of basketball history forever. 

Wilt Chamberlain was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Growing up, Wilt Chamberlain was an avid track & field athlete. He did events such as the high jump, long jump, and shot put.   

When Wilt Chamberlain enrolled in Overbrook High School, he was already towering over his opponents since he was 6' 11." Chamberlain’s high school career was legendary.  In his 1st high school season, Wilt Chamberlain averaged 31.0 points per game. During his final season at Overbrook, he had a three-game span in which he posted scoring outputs of 74 points, 78 points, and 90 points. He helped guide his team to two city championships.

Wilt Chamberlain played college basketball for the Kansas Jayhawks and made an immediate impact in his 1st game.  He scored 52 points and 31 rebounds!   Wilt Chamberlain would lead the Jayhawks to the 1956-1957 NCAA championship game. 

Wilt Chamberlain finished his college basketball career in his junior season. However, Wilt Chamberlain didn’t want to wait until he graduated to become a pro. At the time, the NBA did not accept players till they graduated college. Thus, Wilt Chamberlain ended up playing for the Harlem Globetrotters. He was part of the Harlem Globetrotter roster that made a historic trip to Moscow in 1959. 

Wilt Chamberlain would make his debut in the NBA with the then-Philadelphia Warriors. Upon arriving in the NBA, he immediately became the NBA's highest-paid player.  Wilt made a significant splash in his first NBA game with a 43-point, 28-rebound effort against the NY Knicks. He had 30 points in the first matchup against Bill Russell and the Celtics. Mind you, and it was the 4th game of his career. 

Chamberlain had multiple 50-point, 40-rebound games during his rookie season. He averaged 37.6 points and 27 rebounds per game. 

As a result, Wilt won Rookie of the Year and NBA MVP. He is 1 of 2 players to accomplish such a feat. 

Chamberlain would increase his scoring and rebounding average in his 2nd season. However, his most memorable season was his 3rd season. That season, Wilt Chamberlain averaged an astounding 50 points and 25 rebounds per game. He did this while averaging 48 minutes of playing time! Wilt scored over 4,000 points that season. He is the only player ever to do so. Within that season, he had the most memorable game in NBA History. 

 On March 2nd, 1962, Wilt Chamberlain scored an NBA record 100 points in a single game against the New York Knicks.

Wilt Chamberlain's dominance continued when the Warriors franchise moved to San Francisco. It even continued when he was traded back to Philadelphia.

In 1967, Wilt Chamberlain won his first NBA Championship. He also was named MVP that season. This was the second of three consecutive MVP seasons for Wilt. (1967-1968)

In July 1968, Wilt was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. He would win another title in 1972 and was named Finals MVP. He would retire the following season. 

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The accolades that Wilt has achieved are almost too long to list. He was a 13-time All-Star and 4-time MVP. He was named to the All-NBA 1st team 7 times and the All-NBA 2nd team three times.

He was the NBA rebounding champion 11 times and the NBA scoring champion 7 times. He has the all-time single-game NBA scoring record and rebounding record. 

One can envision Wilt enjoying activities such as Casino Hotslots after such a legendary career. However, there is no doubt Wilt would certainly receive his flowers in his post-NBA career. Wilt Chamberlain would be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979. His number was retired by every single franchise he played for (Warriors, 76ers, Lakers, and Globetrotters)

Wilt has also been named to the NBA's 35th, 50th, and 75th-anniversary teams.

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