Little Bits of History

Wilt the Stilt

Posted in History by patriciahysell on November 24, 2011

Wilt Chamberlain making a basket

November 24, 1960: Wilt Chamberlain sets one of his world records. While playing against the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia Warriors star player was able to amass a record 55 rebounds. This was a record for the most rebounds in a single game and was only one of the records Wilt the Stilt or The Big Dipper was able to make. He broke more than 70 records during his 14-year career. During that time, Chamberlain scored 31,419 points. The only person to break more records was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who played six years longer than Chamberlain.

Wilt remains the only NBA player to have reached the three digit score in a single game. He set that record on March 2, 1962. There have been others who have broken this record in high school, collegiate, or international games. There is a record of a 15-year-old Swedish boy, Mats Wermelin, who was playing during a regional tournament in Stockholm. He made 272 points with the final score of the game 272-0.

Chamberlain was born in Philadelphia on August 21, 1936. He reached a height of 7 feet 1 inch. During his high school years, he scored averages of 30+ points per game but did manage to score as high as 90 points in one game during his last year of play for Overbrook. He had over 200 colleges trying to get him to play for them due to his 2,252 points scored during his high school years. He played for the Kansas Jayhawks and scored 52 points during his debut game.

He went on to play with the Harlem Globetrotters (1958-59) and then played with the Warriors (1959-65). He moved on to the Philadelphia 76ers (1965-68), then the Los Angeles Lakers (1968-73), finishing his basketball career as a player/coach for the San Diego Conquistadors. He left basketball for the business world and was successful in a number of ventures. He had a history of heart problems and a week after some dental surgery, he died on October 12, 1999 in Bel-Air, California at the age of 62.

“I believe that good things come to those who work.”

“If you have ability in a certain area, why not capitalize on it and improve it and use it?”

“You must understand as a kid of color in those days, the Harlem Globetrotters were like being movie stars.”

“I couldn’t have come close without my teammates’ help because the Knicks didn’t want me to make 100.” – all from Wilt Chamberlain

Also on this day:
Little Jamie – in 1993, James Bulger’s murderers are found guilty.
Jump to Nowhere – In 1971, Dan Cooper jumped from a plane and was never seen again.