By Delores Jones
Kansas City, MO – Basketball icon Wilt Chamberlain's final game at the University of Kansas was in 1958 against in-state rival, Kansas State University. The Jayhawks trounced K-State, which at the time was the top-ranked team in the nation, 61 to 44. Chamberlain led his team to victory in that game, but he had already announced that he was planning to turn professional before graduation. It was an unprecedented decision at that time.
University of Memphis history professor Aram Goudsouzian has been researching Chamberlain's legacy, and he says it was a decision that changed basketball forever. This fall, he published a paper in Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains called "Can Basketball Survive Chamberlain?: The Kansas Years of Wilt the Stilt." In it, Goudsouzian says that Chamberlain not only changed the landscape of the sport, but of race relations in the US.