PHILADELPHIA – Wilt Chamberlain has been cut down to size. Wilt The Stilt is now Wilt The Stamp.
The Hall of Famer and the only NBA player to score 100 points in a game is set to appear on a commemorative U.S postage stamp. Chamberlain died in 1999 at age 63.
The U.S. Postal Service and the Philadelphia 76ers, with cooperation from the NBA, will formally dedicate the Wilt Chamberlain Forever stamps in a halftime ceremony at a Dec. 5 game against Oklahoma City.
The stamps are just over 2 inches tall. Kadir Nelson, of San Diego, created the two stamp image portraits of the NBA Hall of Famer.
One is based on a photograph of Chamberlain in a Philadelphia Warriors uniform; the other is based on an image of Chamberlain in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform.
The word "Wilt" is featured in either the top right or left corner of each stamp. Art director Antonio Alcala of Alexandria, Virginia, designed the stamps.
The cause was started in 2008 by sports writer Donald Hunt of The Philadelphia Tribune, a 129-year-old newspaper that primarily targets the black community. Hunt, who recalled as a child watching in person Chamberlain play for the 76ers against Oscar Robertson and the Cincinnati Royals, believed "The Big Dipper" had the credentials to join Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Joe Louis and Jesse Owens among the sports legends with their own stamps.
Hunt lobbied the Philadelphia 76ers, the Kansas Jayhawks and Chamberlain's friends, fans and family to get involved in the effort.
"People should remember the great ones," Hunt said. "They don't come any bigger or better than Wilt Chamberlain."
Chamberlain starred in the NBA from 1959 through 1973, when he played for the Philadelphia (later the San Francisco) Warriors, 76ers and Lakers.
The 31,419 points Chamberlain scored during his career stood as a record until Kareem Abdul-Jabbar broke it in 1984. Chamberlain, who never fouled out in 1,205 regular-season and playoff games, also holds the rebounding record with 23,924.