What is the highest individual score ever achieved in a professional basketball game?

When it comes to professional basketball, a remarkable milestone stands as a testament to the heights of individual scoring expertise. Etched in the history of the sport is an extraordinary achievement—the highest individual score ever recorded in a professional basketball game.

The record-setting performance unfolded on a momentous occasion: March 2, 1962. Amidst the electric atmosphere, Wilt Chamberlain, an iconic figure in basketball, graced the court wearing the Philadelphia Warriors’ colours. Driven by an unquenchable desire to showcase his skill and ability, Chamberlain embarked on a relentless pursuit of offensive dominance.

What followed was a masterclass in scoring wizardry. Chamberlain left spectators in awe and opponents in his wake as he unleashed a torrent of points, displaying an unparalleled level of offensive brilliance. With each shot, layup, and thunderous dunk, he amassed an astonishing total of 100 points—a monumental achievement that continues to resonate through the corridors of basketball history.

Chamberlain’s record-breaking performance serves as a testament to his exceptional physical gifts, sublime skill set, and unwavering determination. Standing tall and commanding the court with his towering presence, he showcased a mesmerising combination of athleticism, finesse, and basketball IQ, making him an unstoppable force that night.

Beyond the numerical milestone, Chamberlain’s achievement transcends statistical significance. It proves that sports athletes have the ability to go much further and to this day, the record still stands strong.

The record of Wilt Chamberlain’s highest individual score in a professional basketball game remains a shining testament to the sport’s capacity to produce moments of awe-inspiring brilliance. The Basketball stars of today are still yet to beat his record, so it is likely to stand for many years to come.

Who was Meadowlark Lemon?

I must confess, while researching this piece, I listened to the 1949 ‘novelty’ recording of ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’ by Brother Bones and His Shadows – which, for the uninitiated, was the signature of the Harlem Globetrotters – and was instantly transported back to the days of my childhood in the seventies. Readers of a certain age will understand what I mean when I say that, in their heyday, the Globetrotters, with whom the name Meadowlark Lemon was synonymous, were ‘everywhere’. Indeed, Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, once said that Lemon was ‘an inspiration not only to me, but to kids all around the world’.

Born Meadow Lemon III in Wilmington, North Carolina on April 25, 1932, the man who became known as the ‘Clown Prince of Basketball’ was first chosen to play for the Harlem Globetrotters. At 6’3″, Lemon was not especially tall for a basketball player but, while he never played in the National Basketball Association (NBA), his combination of athleticism, charisma and showmanship made him a fixture of a star-studded Globetrotters’ lineup for over two decades. All told, he played over 16,000 games for the world famous basketball exhibition team, including a 50-game ‘comeback’ season in 1993, when into his sixties. Such was his standing with the Globetrotters that he was one of such eight players to have his shirt number, 36, retired. In 2003, Lemon was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Facing perennial, and deliberately hapless, opponents, the Washington Generals on a nighly basis, Lemon had carte blanche to demonstrate his repertoire of half-court hook shots, no-look passes and other stunts. Comedic though his antics may have been, the late, great Wilt Chamberlain called him ‘the most sensational, awesome, incredible basketball player I’ve ever seen’.

Which was the longest game in National Basketball Association history?

Nowadays the preeminent professional basketball league in the world, the National Basketball Association (NBA) was founded on August 3, 1949, when the National Basketball League (NBL), established in 1937, and the Basketball Association of America (BAA), established in 1946, set aside their differences and finalised a merger. That merger coincided with the creation of the Indianapolis Olympians, a franchise that would last just four seasons but, in its brief existence, had the distinction of being one of the teams that played in the longest game in NBA history.

The other team to play in the historic contest at Edgerton Park Arena in Rochester, New York on January 6, 1951 was Rochester Royals, who, the following April, would win the NBA title for the first time, beating the New York Knicks in the finals. However, on this occasion, despite 6-foot 9-inch centre Arnold ‘Stilts’ Risen top-scoring with 26 points, the Royals would eventually suffer a 75-73 defeat by the Olympians.

For the uninitiated, barring overtime, a basketball game consists of four quarters, of ten minutes apiece. However, if the scores are tied at the end of regulation play, teams play multiple periods of overtime, each lasting five minutes each, until a result is decided. The Royals and the Olympians were tied 65-65 at the end of regulation and, in the absence of a ‘shot clock’, which did not become a feature of the NBA until three years later, needed six periods of overtime to settle the outcome. Much of the additional 30-minute period was uneventful, with the players content to run down the clock in the hope of making a last-gasp winning shot; after 78 minutes, Olympians power forward Bob Lavoy did just that, breaking away to score with a layup and win the game.

Who invented basketball?

Basketball, or basket ball, as it was originally called, was invented in December, 1891 by James Naismith, who was, at the time, a physical education instructor at the International Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. Tasked with developing a competitive activity that could be completed safely, indoors, during the winter months, Naismith drew on his knowledge of association football, gridiron football and field hockey, among other outdoor sports, to come up with his innovation.

Naismith draughted the original rules of the game, which were published, by public demand, in the YMCA campus newspaper, The Triangle, the following January. Some of them, such as those governing travelling fouls and physical contact between players, are still the basis of the modern game. The original basketball ‘hoops’ were simply two wooden peach bushel baskets nailed, ten feet off the ground, to the balcony rail at each of the gymnasium, from which the ball could be retrieved by students in the balcony following a goal. The original ball was just a regulation association football.

Naismith originally played basketball with nine players a side, simply because that was the number of students in his physical education class. He subsequently wrote that the game could be played with anything between three and 40 players a side, depending on the playing space available, but modern five-a-side basketball became enshrined in the rules as early as 1897.

The rules, and equipment, of the game continued to evolve. Backboards, to make scoring easier, were an early addition and the peach baskets were eventually replaced by a metal rims and bottomless nylon nets, which allowed the ball to pass through. Dribbling was introduced in 1901, by which time Spalding had become the official manufacturer of custom-made basketballs.