Chet Walker

Last updated

Chet Walker
Chet Walker 1975.jpeg
Walker in 1975
Personal information
Born(1940-02-22)February 22, 1940
Bethlehem, Mississippi, U.S.
DiedJune 8, 2024(2024-06-08) (aged 84)
Long Beach, California, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight212 lb (96 kg)
Career information
High school Benton Harbor
(Benton Harbor, Michigan)
College Bradley (1959–1962)
NBA draft 1962: 2nd round, 12th overall pick
Selected by the Syracuse Nationals
Playing career1962–1975
Position Small forward
Number25
Career history
19621969 Syracuse Nationals / Philadelphia 76ers
19691975 Chicago Bulls
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points 18,831 (18.2 ppg)
Rebounds 7,314 (7.1 rpg)
Assists 2,126 (2.1 apg)
Stats   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Chester "Chet" Walker (February 22, 1940 – June 8, 2024) was an American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was a seven-time NBA All-Star. He played 13 seasons in the NBA, seven with the Philadelphia 76ers, and he helped lead the 76ers to an NBA championship in 1967. He played his last six seasons for the Chicago Bulls from 1969 to 1975. He played college basketball for the Bradley Braves, twice earning first-team consensus All-American honors.

Contents

Early life

Born in Bethlehem, Mississippi, [1] Walker played high school basketball for the Benton Harbor High School boys basketball team. [2] He graduated from Bradley University in 1962 as the school's all-time leading scorer. [3] The Bradley Braves [4] won the National Invitation Tournament championship in 1960. [5] Walker's speed and agility on the court earned him the nickname "Chet the Jet." [6]

Chet Walker of Bradley University during the 1961-62 season Chet Walker Bradley.jpg
Chet Walker of Bradley University during the 1961–62 season

NBA career

Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers (1962–1969)

Walker was drafted by the Syracuse Nationals in the 1962 NBA draft, [7] and was named to the NBA's first All-Rookie Team in 1963. [8] He followed the team to Philadelphia after his rookie season. Walker averaged over 19 points and eight rebounds a game for the 1966–67 76ers, who won 68 games and lost just 13—the best record in NBA history at the time. [5] [9] That Alex Hannum-coached team, which also featured center Wilt Chamberlain, guards Hal Greer and Wali Jones, and sixth man Billy Cunningham, ended the eight-year championship run of the Boston Celtics. [10] [5]

Chicago Bulls (1969–1975)

Chet Walker in the 1969-70 team photo of the Chicago Bulls Chicago bulls 1969-70 team.jpg
Chet Walker in the 1969–70 team photo of the Chicago Bulls

Walker played his final six seasons with the Chicago Bulls, and never averaged less than 19.2 points and 5.0 rebounds a game. In his 13-year career, Walker scored a total of 18,831 points. [11] The 6–6 forward was an outstanding free-throw shooter, especially in his later years with the Bulls. [12] He led the NBA with an accuracy rate of 85.9 percent in 1970–71, and ranked among the top-10 free-throw shooters five other times. On February 6, 1972, Walker scored a career-high and then-team-record 56 points during a Bulls win over the Cincinnati Royals. [13]

Walker was a seven-time participant in the NBA All-Star Game. [5]

Post playing career

After his playing days, Walker became a moderately successful TV movie producer. He is the author of a memoir entitled Long Time Coming: A Black Athlete's Coming-of-Age in America (1995). [14] Walker also appeared in The White Shadow in season 3's "If Your Number's Up, Get it Down" as a former Chicago Bulls teammate of Coach Ken Reeves (Ken Howard). [15]

On February 24, 2012 (two days after his 72nd birthday), it was announced that Walker was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame by the veterans committee. [16] He was formally inducted into the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, on September 7, 2012. [1] [17]

Death

Walker died in Long Beach, California, on June 8, 2024, at the age of 84. [5] [18] The NBA stated Walker's death is a result of a long-term illness. [15]

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage 3P%  3-point field goal percentage FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game APG  Assists per game SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high
  Won an NBA championship

Regular season

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
1962–63 Syracuse 7825.5.469.6997.21.112.3
1963–64 Philadelphia 7636.5.440.71110.31.617.3
1964–65 Philadelphia 7927.7.403.7426.71.713.2
1965–66 Philadelphia 8032.5.451.7168.02.515.3
1966–67 Philadelphia 8133.2.488.7668.12.319.3
1967–68 Philadelphia 8232.0.460.7267.41.917.9
1968–69 Philadelphia 8233.6.484.8047.81.818.0
1969–70 Chicago 7834.9.477.8507.72.521.5
1970–71 Chicago 8136.1.465.8597.32.222.0
1971–72 Chicago 7833.2.505.8476.12.322.0
1972–73 Chicago 7931.1.478.8325.02.319.9
1973–74 Chicago 8232.5.486.8755.02.40.80.019.3
1974–75 Chicago 7632.3.487.8605.72.20.60.119.2
Career1,03232.4.470.7967.12.10.70.118.2
All-Star7117.9.435.8502.61.30.00.08.1
Source: [19]

Playoffs

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
1963 Syracuse 526.0.509.7339.41.815.2
1964 Philadelphia 538.0.390.73910.42.618.8
1965 Philadelphia 1142.6.480.7607.21.620.3
1966 Philadelphia 536.2.375.8067.43.014.6
1967 Philadelphia 1536.7.467.8077.62.121.7
1968 Philadelphia 1337.3.410.6797.41.819.1
1969 Philadelphia 427.3.535.6675.82.013.5
1970 Chicago 535.6.422.8188.42.219.4
1971 Chicago 733.4.440.7087.13.115.0
1972 Chicago 424.3.421.8133.51.011.3
1973 Chicago 732.7.347.8928.92.016.7
1974 Chicago 1136.6.509.8615.51.60.90.120.9
1975 Chicago 1333.2.494.8804.61.81.00.117.5
Career10535.1.449.7877.02.01.00.118.2
Source: [19]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 "Chet the Jet joins basketball greats in the Hall of Fame". NBA.com. September 5, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  2. Maloney, Jack (June 9, 2024). "Chet Walker dies at 84: Basketball Hall of Famer was seven-time NBA All-Star with 76ers, Bulls". CBSSports.com. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  3. "Bradley Athletics Mourns the Passing of Basketball Legend Chet "The Jet" Walker". Bradley University Athletics. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  4. ESPN; Bradley, Bill (October 6, 2009). ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men's Game. Random House Digital, Inc. pp. 11–. ISBN   978-0-345-51392-2 . Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 "Basketball HOF forward Walker dies at age of 84". ESPN.com. June 9, 2024. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  6. "Former Bulls star Chet 'The Jet' Walker dies at 84". Chicago Sun-Times. June 9, 2024. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  7. "Chet Walker, Hall of Fame forward whose NBA career started in Syracuse, dies at 84". syracuse.com. June 9, 2024. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  8. Johnson, K. C. (June 9, 2024). "Chet Walker, a Chicago Bulls Hall of Famer who helped initiate change in the NBA, dies at 84". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  9. "Season Review: 1966–67". NBA.com. September 13, 2021. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  10. "Legends profile: Chet Walker". NBA.com. September 14, 2021. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  11. Taylor, Ryan (June 9, 2024). "Chicago Bulls release statement after death of Hall of Famer Chet Walker". NBC Sports Chicago. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  12. "Q&A with Chet Walker". NBA.com. October 15, 2001. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  13. "Walker Scores 56 Points (Published 1972)". The New York Times. February 7, 1972. Archived from the original on May 29, 2023.
  14. "Long Time Coming: A Black Athlete's Coming-Of-Age in America by Chet Walker". publishersweekly.com. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  15. 1 2 Smith, Sam (June 9, 2024). "Hall of Famer and Bulls legend Chet Walker, one of the greatest to grace the Chicago sports world, dies at 84". NBA.com. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  16. "Chet Walker among five direct-elects for Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame". NBA.com. February 24, 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  17. Hayes, Patrick (September 7, 2012). "Chet Walker NBA Hall Of Fame Speech: Benton Harbor Great Inducted". SB Nation Detroit. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  18. Araton, Harvey (June 9, 2024). "Chet Walker, N.B.A. Champion and Movie Producer, Dies at 84". The New York Times. Retrieved June 9, 2024.
  19. 1 2 "Chet Walker Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved June 10, 2024.