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February 22, 1940 |
|Listed height||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Listed weight||212 lb (96 kg)|
|High school||Benton Harbor
(Benton Harbor, Michigan)
|NBA draft||1962 / Round: 2 / Pick: 12th overall|
|Selected by the Syracuse Nationals|
|Position||Small forward / Power forward|
|1962–1969||Syracuse Nationals / Philadelphia 76ers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Points||18,831 (18.2 ppg)|
|Rebounds||7,314 (7.1 rpg)|
|Assists||2,126 (2.1 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|Basketball Hall of Fame as player|
Born in Bethlehem, Mississippi, Walker played high school basketball for the Benton Harbor High School boys basketball team. He graduated from Bradley University in 1962 as the school's all-time leading scorer. The Bradley Braves won the NIT Championship in 1957 and 1960. Walker's speed and agility on the court earned him the nickname "Chet the Jet." He probably is best remembered as a starting forward on the 1966–67 Philadelphia 76ers team, which some consider the best NBA team of all time.
Walker was drafted by the Syracuse Nationals in the 1962 NBA draft, and was named to the NBA's first All-Rookie Team in 1963. He followed the team to Philadelphia after his rookie season. A seven-time participant in the NBA All-Star Game, Walker averaged over 19 points and eight rebounds a game for the '66–67 76ers, who won 68 games and lost just 13—the best record in NBA history at the time. That Alex Hannum-coached squad, 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. 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. The 6–6 forward was an outstanding free-throw shooter, especially in his later years with the Bulls. He led the NBA with an accuracy rate of 85.9 percent in 1970–71, and ranked among the top-10 free-throwers five other times.
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).
On February 24, 2012 (two days after Walker's 72nd birthday) it was announced that Chet Walker was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame by the veterans committee. He was formally inducted into the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts on September 7, 2012.
- List of National Basketball Association players with 1000 games played
- List of National Basketball Association career free throw scoring leaders
- Lynch, Wayne (2002-02-21). Season of the 76ers: The Story of Wilt Chamberlain and the 1967 NBA Champion Philadelphia 76ers. Macmillan. pp. 40–. ISBN 978-1-4299-7713-5. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- Smith, Sam (5 September 2012). "Chet the Jet joins basketball greats in the Hall of Fame". NBA.COM. National Basketball Association. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
- ESPN; Bradley, Bill (2009-10-06). 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 29 September 2011.