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.
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.
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!