Wilt Chamberlain's Sister to Visit Fieldhouse for Saturday's Games

Feb. 11, 2010


Barbara Lewis, the sister of Wilt Chamberlain, and her husband Elzie will attend Saturday’s men’s and women’s basketball games in Allen Fieldhouse.

She will visit the venue in which her late brother, in two seasons as a Jayhawk, averaged 29.9 points and 18.9 rebounds per game. He led KU to the 1957 Big Seven championship and to the memorable championship game of the 1957 NCAA Tournament.

Chamberlain left KU in 1958 to begin his professional career with the Harlem Globetrotters. Then, during a Hall-of-Fame career in the National Basketball Association, he averaged 30.1 points a game, including a record 50.4 in the 1961-62 season. He was one of the most versatile big men ever – one year even leading the league in assists. He led his team into the playoffs 13 times and won two NBA championships.

He returned to his alma mater in 1998, when his jersey was retired in an emotional ceremony in Allen Fieldhouse.

Chamberlain died in October, 1999. Four years later his estate donated $650,000 to establish four endowed funds in his name at Kansas. The funds support:

• an annual scholarship for first-generation students with social or economic backgrounds that present challenges to the attainment of a college education;

• a scholarship annually for one men’s basketball student-athlete;

• an annual basketball clinic for Special Olympians conducted by Kansas Athletics, and

• in alternate years, a women’s basketball or volleyball player for her senior year.

“We are honored to welcome Barbara to Allen Fieldhouse,” KU Athletics Director Lew Perkins said. “Wilt accomplished so much while he was here, and while we are thankful and proud of that, we are especially grateful for what he and his family continue to do for students and student-athletes here at the University of Kansas.”