One of the most famous and dominant players in Harlem Globetrotters history, Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain began his professional career in 1958 when the Globetrotters signed the University of Kansas standout to one of the largest contracts in sports.
The 7-1 center was often quoted that his time with the Globetrotters was the most enjoyable of his career. He was a member of the first-ever Harlem Globetrotter team to play in Moscow in 1959. The team enjoyed a sold out tour of the USSR and prior to the start of a game at Moscow's Lenin Central Stadium, the Globetrotters were greeted by General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev.
Following his Globetrotter career, Chamberlain starred in the NBA from 1959 through 1973, playing for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Los Angeles Lakers. He totaled 31,419 points and 23,924 rebounds during his career, averaging 30.1 ppg and 22.9 rpg. Chamberlain enjoyed his finest season in 1962, averaging an NBA record 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds per game. Highlighting the year was his 100-point effort against the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962. During his NBA career, his dominance brought on many rules changes, including widening the lane, introducing offensive goaltending and revising rules governing free throw shooting (Chamberlain would jump from behind the foul line with the ball and lay it in the basket before the rules were revised).
Chamberlain, who passed away on Oct. 12, 1999, at the age of 63, was posthumously honored by the Globetrotters on March 9, 2000, when the team retired his jersey (#13) and inducted him into the “Legends” Ring. The ceremony, which marked the first-ever jersey retirement by the Globetrotters, took place at Chamberlain's high school in Philadelphia, Overbrook High School Gymnasium.
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