NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain competing in a volleyball exhibition versus the Meadville YMCA team at David Mead Field House, May 27, 1972. -- COURTESY MEADVILLE TRIBUNE

NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain competing in a volleyball exhibition versus the Meadville YMCA team at David Mead Field House, May 27, 1972.

COURTESY MEADVILLE TRIBUNE

Wilt Chamberlain brings his volleyball prowess to Meadville

The most dominant player in the history of basketball, Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain was something of a renaissance man in the world of sports. He earned a reputation as a stellar leaper and thrower in track and field before devoting himself to basketball, and in retirement became known for competing earnestly and ferociously in a number of different arenas, from racket sports to rowing. 

He might have been most devoted to volleyball in those later years, a sport he discovered while rehabbing from a knee injury as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers during the 1969-1970 season. 

Chamberlain's size, athleticism, and natural ability helped him quickly excel in volleyball, a sport that benefited from such high-profile involvement. The Pennsylvania native sponsored multiple teams and toured as a member of a four-man exhibition team, which made a stop in Meadville in 1972.

NBA legend “Big Dipper” Wilt Chamberlain standing head, shoulders, and torso over the competition at a volleyball match versus the Meadville YMCA team at David Mead Field House, May 27, 1972. -- COURTESY MEADVILLE TRIBUNE

NBA legend “Big Dipper” Wilt Chamberlain standing head, shoulders, and torso over the competition at a volleyball match versus the Meadville YMCA team at David Mead Field House, May 27, 1972.

COURTESY MEADVILLE TRIBUNE

The area already had a strong volleyball tradition at that time, and it only grew from there. Crawford County has produced many memorable teams, including the 119-0 Maplewood Lady Tigers in 1995, and many high-profile players.

Maplewood High School girls volleyball team celebrating their PIAA Class AA state championship in 1995. The team went 119-0. -- COURTESY MEADVILLE TRIBUNE

Maplewood High School girls volleyball team celebrating their PIAA Class AA state championship in 1995. The team went 119-0.

COURTESY MEADVILLE TRIBUNE

These and hundreds of other classic Crawford County Sports photographs and stories can be found in the Meadville Tribune's new book, Crawford County Sports History Highlights!

Crawford County: Sports History Highlights Cover
The Meadville Tribune presents Crawford County: Sports History Highlights

$39.95

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