It’s a record that has been around a long time to say the least. Fifty years ago today, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points to lead the Philadelphia Warriors to a 169-147 victory over the New York Knicks in Hershey, Pa., on March 2, 1962.
No player has surpassed Chamberlain’s NBA scoring mark that’s five decades old. This is the 50th anniversary of the Big Dipper’s 100-point game. It’s a tremendous performance that is certainly worthy of all the national attention it’s received in the sports media.
Chamberlain, former Overbrook High basketball star, put on quite a show that night, shooting 36-for-63 from the floor and 28-for-32 from the foul line. He played all 48 minutes that night. The game was played at the Hershey Sports Arena in front of just 4,124 fans. Although not many fans saw that game and there was no television coverage, this week more people are learning about Chamberlain’s amazing accomplishment.
How big is this game? The Wilton Norman Chamberlain Postal Stamp Committee will hold a luncheon on Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the First District Plaza, 3801 Market Street, to recognize his great achievement and to garner support for the Chamberlain postal stamp effort.
The Philadelphia 76ers have obtained the original court on which Chamberlain scored his 100 points. The historic court was purchased from Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, who owned it previously throughout the years. A majority of the court will be preserved for posterity and will be used and displayed at several venues.
These include the Wells Fargo Center where the 76ers play, and the Sixers practice facility in Philadelphia as well as in Hershey. In addition, the Sixers will be donating some of the court to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
All Sixers fans in attendance at Friday’s Sixers–Warriors game will also get to own a piece of history. Each ticket holder will receive a specially mounted 2”x2” piece of the actual court on which Chamberlain scored his NBA-record 100 points. The Sixers will honor Chamberlain’s family in a special halftime ceremony tonight.
Chamberlain played with and against some great players in that memorable game. As a member of the Warriors, Al Attles shot 8-for-8 from the field and 1-for-1 from the free throw line. Paul Arizin and Tom Meschery both chipped in with 16 points for the Warriors. Guy Rodgers, former Northeast High and Temple star, was a terrific ballhandler. Rodgers had 11 points in that contest, but more impressively had 20 assists.
Richie Guerin, who had a team-high 39 points that night, led the Knicks. Cleveland Buckner and Willie Naulls tallied 33 and 31 points respectively. David Budd contributed 13 points.
Although this was a huge game for Chamberlain, it was an even bigger year for him. In 1961–62, he averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds a game. Chamberlain was such a dominant player around the basket. Chamberlain had games where he scored 78, 73, 67 and 65 points that season. He had the power dunks, finger rolls and the fade away jumpshot.
The Warriors eventually moved to San Francisco in 1962 and were later named the Golden State Warriors in 1971. Concurrent with the Warriors move, the Syracuse Nationals moved to Pennsylvania being renamed the Philadelphia 76ers. Chamberlain made the move with the team to San Francisco but eventually returned to Philly following a trade to the Sixers in 1965.
Chamberlain, who passed away on October 12, 1999, played in the NBA from 1959 to 1973. He played with the Warriors, 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers. He won an NBA championship with the 76ers during the 1966–67 season. He also guided the Los Angeles Lakers to a 1971–72 NBA crown.
He scored 31,419 points in his NBA career. Chamberlain holds the rebounding record with 23,924. He was a four-time MVP. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978.