The basketball court on which Wilt Chamberlain scored his historic 100 points versus the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962 has been acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers and part of it will be cut up and given away to fans at a game on the 50th anniversary of the remarkable feat.
The historic court was purchased from Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, who had stored it previously throughout the years. A majority of the court will be “preserved for posterity and will be used and displayed at several venues”, according to the Sixers. 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, Massachusetts.
Ticket holders who attend the March 2 Sixers-Warriors game will receive a specially mounted 2”x2” piece of the court.
“Wilt Chamberlain is without any doubt one of the most legendary individuals to ever play basketball,” said Sixers CEO and Co-Owner Adam Aron. “It is an honor for 76ers Managing Owner Joshua Harris and all in our ownership group to celebrate with our fans the 50th Anniversary of Wilt scoring 100 points at an NBA game. We cannot stress enough how excited we are to have found the original court on which Wilt once soared. Preserving the court in Philadelphia, in Hershey and at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a thrill. So, too is sharing a little bit of this rich history with our fans attending the 50th Anniversary of the greatest scoring performance of all-time in the NBA.”
Beyond giving 76ers fans a piece of Wilt’s record-setting court, the 76ers organization will honor Chamberlain’s family in a special halftime ceremony that night. The Sixers also are inviting some of his friends, former teammates from the 1961-62 Warriors, and others connected to the record-setting 1962 game to join in the festivities that night. Videos highlighting the former great will be played throughout the evening.
Chamberlain scored the record-breaking 100 points as a member of the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks. The Warriors eventually moved to San Francisco in 1962 and were later christened 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 the City of Brotherly Love following a trade to the Sixers in 1965. The anniversary game includes both the Sixers and the Warriors, both of Wilt’s Philadelphia teams.
The historic game was played at the Hershey Sports Arena in front of a crowd of 4,124 although the number of people who claimed to witness the game in person vastly outnumbered that total as the years went on.
The 7-1 Chamberlain played all 48 minutes that night in Hershey, leading the Warriors to a 169-147 win over the Knicks. Wilt shot 36-of-63 from the floor and 28-of-32 from the foul line, which was especially impressive given that he shot only 51.1% from the line for his career.
You can watch him talk about the game and hear the original radio call here and see a rather bizarre appearance on the Ed Sullivan show here on which a three-foot-tall man tried to bite his knee as part of a comedy bit.
That season, Chamberlain averaged an astounding 50.4 points per game. He played all but eight minutes and 33 seconds that season, those eight plus minutes due to a disqualification in a game resulting from technical fouls.
Chamberlain, who passed away on Oct. 12, 1999, was born in Philadelphia and attended Overbrook High School. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978 and has the second-highest scoring average in NBA history (30.1 ppg), trailing only Michael Jordan by fractions of a point. Wilt was a four-time MVP and a two-time NBA champion. You can buy a book about his incredible 1962 season here.