Legends and Grandsons – Basketball History Brings Memories & Cheers
Basketball in late winter. There's nothing like it. High School tournaments, college tournaments and the greatest single-game scoring effort in National Basketball Association History.
Oh, and then there's my grandson Jackson Maier, he's the obviously cutest kid in orange with the yellow wrist band and his hands up in a classic defensive stance.
Let's stitch these all together.
I was ten years old and a big basketball fan when on this day in history in 1962, Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors set an NBA record when he scored 100 points in a single game. 100 points!
The score was Philly 169 and the New York Knicks 147. Wilt played all 48 minutes taking 63 shots and making 36 of them. He was uncharacteristically great at the foul line making 28 of 32 free throws. He also grabbed 25 rebounds. And though thousands and thousands claimed to have been there, less than 5000 people were on hand to see it!
For perspective on 100 points, 70 or more points has happened just 11 times and 6 of them by Chamberlain. Devin Booker had 70, Elgin Baylor and David Robinson each had 71. David "sky walker" Thompson had 73 in 1978 and the late great Kobe Bryant dropped 81 back in 2006.
Of course there's more to the game of basketball than scoring - like rebounds, steals, assists and blocked shots, But in the end, it's the team with the most points that wins so lets go back to Saturday and February 29, 2020. It was a leap day and there would be some hoops inspired leaping going on before the day was done.
My daughter Sarah loves basketball, She knows the game and is an excellent fan and bench mom. Her son, 5 year old Jackson, is playing for the neon Orange Cheetahs in Vancouver, WA. It's a starter league with coaches on the floor (Jackson's great dad Justin). They don't keep score, they don't steal, they don't count fouls and they change line-ups every five minutes while playing on an 8 foot rim. It is beyond adorable to watch.
As of Saturday, the Cheetah's had played a handful of games but so far Jackson, who shows early signs of being a very good passer, had yet to score. I should mention Jackson also hates broccoli! So using an expert's touch from the training table on nutritional psychology, mom Sarah tells grandson Jackson if he makes a basket he can have two weeks off without broccoli! That, plus Grandpa Dave in the stands for the first time was all the motivation Jackson needed and he indeed did make his first basket late in the game! The smirk of excitement and accomplishment on his cute little face as he raced back to play defense was so sweet, precious and hilarious to see.
Did they win? Did they lose? Who knows and who cares. The kids ran, they leaped, they perspired, they learned & improved and they had a blast! And in just a couple of weeks it's off to the Portland Trailblazers Basketball Camp. The hoop train rolls on.
Late winter '62 and in his third year, Wilt breaks a record and nets 100.
Then 58 years later Jackson gets 2 and earns a break from broccoli.
Two great moments in basketball history and I will always treasure the memories of them both...but no broccoli? For two weeks? C'mon man, I think we all know Jackson got the best of this comparison! Well played grandson, well played!