Basketball Hall of Fame Logo                            Wilt Chamberlain online exhibit

Online Exhibit      Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point game — March 2, 1962 at Hershey, PA
 

 

Introduction

The Game

Chamberlain bio

The Boxscore

Quotebook

Who's Joe Ruklick?

Chamberlain stats

Warriors in the Hall

Wilt's Hall Call

Hall of Fame website

 

 
 
 
 


Warriors 
vs. Knicks
Mar. 2, 1962

New York Knicks logo in 1962

Philadelphia Warriors logo in 1962

On March 2, 1962, the weather was cold and slushy — a stay-at-home winter Friday night. Neither the Philadelphia Warriors or the New York Knicks were Wilt Chamberlain's March 2, 1962 game jerseyespecially thrilled with a bus ride to Hershey, PA for a meaningless NBA game. The season was almost over, and the outcome would have no effect on the standings.

That night, however, Wilton Norman Chamberlain would score 100 points, a record that celebrates its 40th anniversary this month, and one that hasn't been touched. The reason? Chamberlain also owns the second and third highest scoring marks in league history at 78 and 73 points twice. David Thompson also scored 78 points in the 1978 scoring race against George Gervin.

From the opening tap, the Warriors assumed command over the last place and outmanned Knicks. Philadelphia piled up a 42-26 advantage by the end of the first period. Chamberlai, who was in his third NBA season, scored 23 of his teams 42 points. New York's regular center, 6-foot-10 Phil Jordon, was sidelined due to injury, and his replacement, Darrall Imhoff, had a difficult time guarding Chamberlain and eventually fouled out. He was one of five New York players to foul out. (see boxscore)

By halftime, many of Chamberlain's teammates knew something special was in the air (23 first quarter points, 18 second quarter points). They kept feeding him for an assortment of thunderous dunks, finger rolls, a few jumpers and his favorite shot, the one-handed bank shot off the glass.

During the third quarter, Chamberlain made 10 baskets and a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. At the start of the fourth quarter he popped in three quick baskets to reach 75 points. Fans in the arena began a constant chant, "Give it to Wilt! Give it to Wilt."

With five minutes remaining, Chamberlain had 89 points. He scored five points quickly; points 93 and 94 on a 12-foot bank shot. Points 95 and 96 came on a lob pass from Rodgers. Points 97 and 98 came on an easy layup feed from York Larese. Nearing the century mark, Chamberlain stole New York's inbound pass but his shot went in and spun out. The chaotic last minute went like this:

  • Chamberlain missed a shot.
  • Teammate Ted Luckenbill rebounded and fed Chamberlain who missed again.
  • Luckenbill grabbed the rebound again and passed to Joe Rutlick.
  • Rutlick fed Chamberlain underneath the basket.
  • Chamberlain dunked home points 99 and 100.

Game Not Over!
The 100 point night never ended officially. The final 46 seconds weren't played, because as soon as Chamberlain scored 100, fans stormed the court and no one had interest in continuing. Joe Rutlick claims that the game did end officially and that he missed two free throws during the last 46 seconds, and the boxscore confirms Rutlick's statement.

"It would have been impossible to score this many points if my teammates hadn't kept feeding me, especially Guy," Chamberlain said after the game.

Final: Philadelphia 169 — New York 147

"A lot of people asked me if it was pre-planned," Chamberlain said. "No, it wasn't. We didn't have a team meeting or anything to purposely go out and doing something like this. It just happened as the game progressed."

Campbell's Call
The radio by-by-play was done that night by Bill Campbell, a veteran broadcaster. Twenty-five years after the game Campbell told the Philadelphia Daily News, "This might sound strange, but I never had that game in my list of top personal memories. In all honesty, I was more excited the night I did the game when Joe Fulks scored 63. He was the first of the jump shooters, and the shot was such a curiosity then and Joe was hitting from deep in the corners and out on the wings. I just have a clearer recollection of that game. On this historic night, no New York papers were covering the Knicks, and Philadelphia's public relations man Harvey Pollack was covering for the wires and Philadelphia media.

Something in the air?
Early in the day, many of Chamberlain's teammates knew that he was in for a big day. In a pinochle game, "he was getting fantastic cards," said teammate Guy Rodgers, who later that night fed most of his 20 assists to Chamberlain. After cards, Chamberlain led teammates to a penny arcade where he broke the shooting gallery's record score. "Wilt didn't miss a shot at the shooting gallery. He was on all day. The man was just hot," Rodgers said.

Hall Call
The Basketball Hall of Fame called for a tape of the game, but it wasn't on television. The Hall then asked Campbell for a copy of the tape, but he didn't tape any of his broadcasts. After Campbell mentioned that oddity on the air, about a dozen people sent him tapes of the last few minutes of the game.

On the tape, Campbell shouts: "It's good! He made it! That's 100! Oh, the fans are all over the floor now ..." Campbell's voice broke off and pandemonium let loose on the court.

Half empty or half full?
Philadelphia's Director of Press Relations was Harvey Pollack, who also served as the official statistician. The official crowd was listed at 4,124. "I guess I've heard 40,000 people claim to have been there that night," Pollack says wryly. "But the building was only about half full."

Homecourt Advantage?
In the 1960s, the Warriors, coached by Hall of Famer Fran
map of Hershey, PAk McGuire, trained in Hershey and played a few league games there each season. So, Philadelphia's appearance in Hershey was not entirely unusual.

About Hershey
There's no denying it: Hershey is the chocolate-coated candy Kingdom of the world. It is located in the Harrisburg-Hershey area of Pennsylvania. Milton S. Hershey built this small community into an internationally known piece of history. Chocolate and Cocoa Avenues are lined with Hershey's Kisses street lights. Beyond the chocolate, adventures await. Each year, more than 2 million visitors find their thrills at Hershey Park, a world-famous attraction. Adjacent to the park lies ZooAmerica, an 11-acre, year-round North American wildlife park featuring more than 200 animals of 75 species.

Boxscore Trivia
Perhaps the best trivia line in the Chamberlain box score belongs to Al Attles, the Warriors starting guard. He never missed a shot that night, going 8 for 8 from the floor and making his only free throw. "I was a defensive specialist," Attles said. "No one ever accused me of being a great shooter. But the only time in my life when I was perfect, when I had the hot hand and literally couldn't miss, Wilt had to go out and get 100."

 


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