- NAME: Wilt Chamberlain
- OCCUPATION: Basketball Player
- BIRTH DATE: August 21, 1936
- DEATH DATE: October 12, 1999
- EDUCATION: Overbrook High School, University of Kansas
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Beverly Hills, California
- PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California
- Full Name: Wilton Norman Chamberlain
- AKA: Wilton Chamberlain
- Nickname: "The Big Dipper"
- Nickname: "Wilt the Stilt"
- Nickname: "Goliath"
- AKA: Wilt Chamberlain
- Nickname: "Dipper"
- Nickname: "The Stilt"
Best Known For
Wilt Chamberlain was the first NBA player to score more than 30,000 cumulative points over his career, and the first and only player to score 100 points in a single game.
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Wilt Chamberlain was born on August 21, 1936, in Beverly Hills, California. Known as "Wilt the Stilt" for his 7'1" frame, Chamberlain was a Harlem Globetrotter before joining the Philadelphia Warriors. He achieved an average of 30.1 points per game over his career and holds several records, including for most points scored in one season (4,029) and most points scored in a single game (100). Chamberlain was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978. He died in Los Angeles in 1999.
"Nobody loves Goliath."
"Wilt was one of the greatest ever, and we will never see another like him."
"[Wilt Chamberlain] and I will be friends through eternity."
Born Wilton Norman Chamberlain on August 21, 1936, in Beverly Hills, California, Wilt Chamberlain was one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He was the first NBA player to score more than 30,000 points during his professional career.
Chamberlain was a standout player at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia. He played on the school's varsity team for three years, scoring more than 2,200 points in total. Standing at 6'11" tall at the time, Chamberlain physically dominated other players. He eventually reached his full height of a staggering 7'1" tall. Many of his nicknames were derived from his stature. He hated being called "Wilt the Stilt," or "the Stilt," which came from a local reporter covering high school athletics. But Chamberlain didn't mind "The Big Dipper," or "Dipper," a nickname given to him by friends because he had to duck his head when passing through a doorframe.
When it came time for college, Chamberlain was sought after by many top college basketball teams. He chose to attend the University of Kansas, making his college basketball debut in 1956 with the Jayhawks, and leading the team to the NCAA finals in 1957. The Jayhawks were defeated by North Carolina, but Chamberlain was named "Most Outstanding Player" of the tournament. Continuing to excel, he made the all-America and all-conference teams the following season.
Leaving college in 1958, Chamberlain had to wait a year before going pro due to NBA rules. He chose to spend the next season performing with the Harlem Globetrotters before landing a spot with the Philadelphia Warriors. In 1959, Chamberlain played his first professional game in New York City against the Knicks, scoring 43 points. His impressive debut season netted him several prestigious honors, including the NBA Rookie of the Year and NBA Most Valuable Player awards. Also during this season, Chamberlain began his rivalry with Celtics defensive star Bill Russell. The two were fierce competitors on the court, but they developed a friendship away from the game.
Chamberlain's most famous season, however, came in 1962. That March, he became the first NBA player to score 100 points in a game, setting a league record for the highest number of points scored in a single game (which he still holds today). By season's end, Chamberlain racked up more than 4,000 points—becoming the first NBA player to do so—scoring an average of 50.4 points per game. At the top of his game, Chamberlain was selected for the All-NBA first team for three consecutive years: 1960, 1961 and 1962.
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