KU Legend Wilt Chamberlain to Appear on Postage Stamp
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas men’s basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain is set to appear on two commemorative U.S. postage stamps to be formally dedicated at halftime of the Dec. 5, Oklahoma City Thunder at Philadelphia 76ers NBA game in Chamberlain’s hometown of Philadelphia.
Chamberlain’s stamps are just over two-inches tall and were created by Kadir Nelson of San Diego. The cause to get Chamberlain on the stamp began in 2008 by sports writer Donald Hunt of the Philadelphia Tribune. One stamp is a photo Chamberlain in a Philadelphia Warriors uniform and the other a picture of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform.
One of the greatest basketball players ever, Chamberlain quickly made an impact on the Jayhawk basketball program from 1955-56 (his freshman year) through 1957-58. In his freshman basketball debut, he scored 42 points as the freshman team defeated the varsity.
The following season, Chamberlain’s varsity debut was equally impressive as he poured in 52 points and grabbed 31 rebounds against Northwestern. That scoring total still ranks as a Kansas single-game record.
In 1957, Chamberlain led the Jayhawks to a 24-3 record and a spot in the NCAA finals where Kansas was defeated by North Carolina, 54-53 in three overtimes. Despite the loss, Chamberlain was named tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. He was a two-time All-American and All-Big Eight selection while at Kansas.
Chamberlain was a versatile performer as he also lettered in track. He cleared 6’6 ¾” in the high jump to tie for first in the 1958 Big Eight Championships.
After leaving school following his junior season for the Harlem Globetrotters, he became the NBA’s second-leading all-time scorer (31,419 points), Rookie of the Year in 1960, four-time NBA Most Valuable Player and 10-time All-NBA performer. He also set the NBA single-game scoring record March 2, 1962, with 100 points against the New York Knicks.
Chamberlain, who passed away on Oct. 12, 1999, at the age of 63, was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978.
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