SportsIllustrated.com Names Chamberlain One of Greatest College Athletes Ever
July 13, 2006
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
SportsIllustrated.com named former Kansas men’s basketball player and track and field star Wilt Chamberlain one of the top 15 greatest college athletes ever. Chamberlain, ranked no. 11 on the list, joins an illustrious list of athletes who excelled in multiple sports during their time on college campuses.
A two-time first-team All-American in basketball, Chamberlain averaged 29.9 points and 18.9 rebounds per game during his time in Lawrence, both of which represent the best in Jayhawk history and rank among the top in the NCAA record book. Chamberlain’s exploits on the court, including the 1958 season where he averaged a Jayhawk-record 30.1 points per game, helped make him one of Kansas’ all-time greatest players. In his varsity debut, under the tutelage of the legendary “Phog” Allen, Chamberlain turned in a dominating performance, scoring a career-high 52 points and grabbing 31 rebounds.
However, Chamberlain’s excellence was not just limited to the hardwood. A prominent high jumper, Chamberlain captured the Big Seven Conference championship in the event in 1957 with a jump of 6-5 using an older style of jumping in the event. A year later, Chamberlain’s dominance moved indoors and he won the 1958 Big Eight Conference Championship in the event, leaping 6-6.75.
Chamberlain, who passed away on Oct. 12, 1999, made one final trip to Allen Fieldhouse as he was on hand Jan. 17, 1998, to see his jersey officially retired.
For more information on SportsIllustrated.com’s Top 15 Greatest College Athletes Ever, click here.