Sixers Notes: Chamberlain's sister gratified by tribute on anniversary of 100-point game

A fan receives a mounted piece of the original court on which Wilt Chamberlain scored his NBA-record 100 points in a basketball game as a member of the Philadelphia Warriors.
A fan receives a mounted piece of the original court on which Wilt Chamberlain scored his NBA-record 100 points in a basketball game as a member of the Philadelphia Warriors. (ALEX BRANDON / Associated Press)
Posted: March 03, 2012

Selina Gross, alive and well and living in North Philadelphia, is one of three of Wilt Chamberlain's sisters who gathered on Friday at a luncheon at the First District Plaza in West Philadelphia marking the 50th anniversary of Chamberlain's 100-point performance.

Chamberlain scored 100 points to lead the Philadelphia Warriors to a 169-147 victory over the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962.

Gross said she was really moved that the 76ers and the city honored her brother, and that there is a movement afoot to have Chamberlain's image placed on a stamp.

"This all really means a lot," Gross said via phone Friday afternoon. "You hate for people to get that recognition after they are dead, but this is all very heartwarming."

"I'm very proud of the fact that he's still remembered and honored," Gross continued. "They talk about what he did on the basketball court, but those of us who knew him loved the fact that he did so much for people away from the basketball court.

"Our parents [William and Olivia, both deceased] wanted us to be good human beings. They would have been very proud to see this today."

What got 76ers coach Doug Collins' attention about Chamberlain's 100-point game more than anything was that Chamberlain, of Overbrook High School, went 28 for 32 from the free-throw line.

"It was just amazing, an amazing performance from a guy who was just an incredible athlete," said Collins, who said the most points he scored in a single game was 57. "What an incredible player."

Collins wondered what has happened to the back-to-the-basket centers of Chamberlain's era and suggested that the proliferation of AAU teams and the three-point basket have helped diminish them. He didn't rule out that another player might one day score 100 points.

"Kobe got 81 the one night, but it's going to be tough," Collins said. "The defenses are too sophisticated. They are going to run and trap and get the ball out of your hand. A coach is not going to let you just run wild like that anymore. They are going to get the ball out of your hands and make somebody else shoot the ball."

Fifty years ago, Chamberlain was so athletically ahead of his time that there was no way of doing that. That, said Collins, is another difference between the eras.

"I see these young players play today and I scratch my head how good there are," Collins said. "It's amazing the things they can do on the floor. The speed and quickness, the size. I played this game at 6-6, 185 pounds. Today a guard can weigh 225 pounds. It's incredible."


Contact John N. Mitchell at jmitchell@philly.com. Follow him on Twitter @JmitchInquirer.

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