Wilt Chamberlain seemed to be a model of fitness. Even after his Hall of Fame basketball career ended, he turned to volleyball and marathons. But for years he had also endured heart problems--and they eventually killed him, Sy Goldberg, Chamberlain's agent and longtime friend, told the Associated Press.
"He had congestive heart failure," Goldberg said the day after Chamberlain died at age 63. "He had deteriorated relatively quickly over the last month or so."
Chamberlain had lost 30 or 40 pounds over the past few weeks as doctors drained his legs of fluid that had accumulated because of his heart trouble, Goldberg said.
The 7-foot-1 Chamberlain, the only player to score 100 points in an NBA game, was found dead in his bed at his Los Angeles area home. "It was just one of those things. He had some [heart] problems in the past, but this just struck quickly," Goldberg said after speaking with Chamberlain's cardiologist, Anthony Reid. Chamberlain's sister, Barbara Lewis, said Tuesday that her brother had undergone dental surgery last week and looked worse than she had ever seen him.
"The cardiac situation was the main thing," Goldberg said.
Reports that Chamberlain had a heart problem arose back in the early 1960s, but he denied them. He was hospitalized for three days in 1992 with a slightly irregular heartbeat. A funeral for Chamberlain, with limited seating for the public, will be Saturday, Goldberg said.
Jordan Helps Out
Michael Jordan popped in at a Salvation Army disaster recovery center for Hurricane Floyd flood victims Tuesday in Burgaw, N.C., dispensing hugs and cases of underwear. Jordan, who grew up in nearby Wilmington, spent 15 minutes listening to the victims' stories, said Salvation Army spokeswoman Amy Carpenter. . . .
The Wizards will hold a free intrasquad scrimmage that is open to the public at MCI Center on Friday at 7 p.m. General admission seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Street Hockey Fest
NHL Breakout '99, a street and in-line hockey tournament and festival, is Saturday and Sunday on Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th streets, NW. The event, which is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., will host hundreds of local hockey players competing in inflatable rinks. Members of the Capitals also will make appearances. Admission for activities other than organized tournament play is free.
Out of Africa
Rumble in the Jungle II?
That's what an African king has in mind with his wildly improbable bid to hold the heavyweight title rematch between Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis in Uganda.
The fight is scheduled for Las Vegas on Nov. 13, with all parties under contract. But Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II--monarch of Buganda, a kingdom of Uganda--offered yesterday to put the bout in Kampala, capital of the East African nation.
The king has lined up more than $15 million for the fight from commercial sponsors in Uganda, London-based spokesman Kizzi Nkwocha said. But U.S. promoters said the Las Vegas location is a done deal. . . .
Venezuelan super bantamweight boxer Carlos Barreto, 23, died from head injuries received during a bout in which he was knocked out, his mother said yesterday.
The Joke is Over
Serena Williams's eyes sparkled and a big smile creased her face when she was asked about playing in a men's tennis tournament because, "Women's tennis is boring."
"I never made that quote," the U.S. Open women's singles champion said when asked about a story out of Germany last week. "I never said anything like that."
According to the story, Williams asked for a wild-card entry into a tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, later this month. Markus Gunthard, director of the tournament, said Williams had asked him for a wild card. Williams said it was a joke that got out of hand. . . . Michael Chang defeated India's Leander Paes, 6-1, 6-3, yesterday in the Heineken Open in Singapore. Magnus Norman, who won the ATP Tour event in Shanghai on Sunday, was upset by Paradorn Srichapan of Thailand, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3. . . .
American qualifier Corina Morariu upset fifth-seeded Barbara Schett, 7-6 (8-6), 0-6, 6-4, in the second round of the Swisscom Challenge in Zurich. Fourth-seeded Amanda Coetzer beat Patty Schnyder, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2. . . . Fifth-seeded Greg Rusedski of Britain beat Andrei Medvedev, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, to advance into the third round of the $800,000 CA Trophy in Vienna. Top-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov also advanced.
Barlow Leads in Las Vegas
Craig Barlow shot a career-best 11-under 61 to take a two-shot lead over eight players in the first round of the five-day Las Vegas Invitational. Fred Couples, Billy Mayfair, Brian Henninger, Andrew Magee, Brian Watts, Joe Ogilvie, Jonathan Kaye and Bob May are all tied for second. . . .
Isaac Grainger, the former president of the U.S. Golf Association who helped unify the rules of golf, died Monday at his Wilmington, N.C., home. He was 104.