In his 1991 memoir, A View from Above,” he boasted about sleeping with 20,000 women, but NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain always maintained that he didn’t have any children.
But according to latest Sports Illustrated, that may not be true.
A 6-foot-5, 50-year-old man living in San Francisco claims to be the son of the late NBA star, and the SI cover story details how his 12-year quest to find his birth parents resulted in discovering that the towering center — who played for the Warriors, Sixers and Lakers — was his father.
“I am Wilt’s secret, and I am the Chamberlain family’s secret,” Aaron Levi told the magazine.
Levi, who was born on Jan. 27, 1965, was a biracial adopted child growing up in Oregon and only knew a few things about his birth parents: His mother was white; his father was black and tall.
In 2003, he decided to act on his growing curiosity about where he came from.
Between adoption paperwork from a social services agency and his birth certificate, which mentioned his mother’s maiden name, Levi told the magazine that he was able to track down his mother, Elizabeth.
Although Levi had his suspicions based on details from the documents — his father was described as a single, black, 28-year-old professional basketball player, 6-foot-10, 240 pounds, with a master’s degree and born in Kansas — he said that Elizabeth confirmed that he was conceived in a one-night stand with Chamberlain, according to the article.
A photograph provided to Sports Illustrated of a 16-year-old Levi even shows that the teenager bore a striking resemblance to the 13-time All-Star, who died in 1999.
Elizabeth told Levi that she met Chamberlain at a jazz club in San Francisco in 1964; he asked for her number, and the two went out a few nights later. During that time, Chamberlain was playing for the San Francisco Warriors.
When the NBA great discovered that he had fathered a child, according to the article, he allegedly kind of chuckled and said, “Oh, so I’m gonna have a kid out there, huh?”
Elizabeth told Levi that Chamberlain didn’t offer to help her financially, because she was “very clear” that she was going to put the child up for adoption.
There are some discrepancies in paperwork from the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency. It noted that Levi’s father was 6-10; Chamberlain was 7-1. It said he was born in Kansas; Chamberlain attended the University of Kansas but was a native of Philadelphia. And it said that he had a master’s degree; Chamberlain never finished college to earn a degree. However, the information was believed to be provided entirely by Elizabeth.
Levi told the magazine that he reached out to some of Chamberlain’s family members in 2010, but they rejected him.
Levi said he’s willing to do a DNA test, but one of Chamberlain’s sisters, Barbara Lewis, told Sports Illustrated, “I’m certainly not giving up DNA.” She has no interest in meeting him because she simply doesn’t believe it.
“My life would be completely different,” Levi said, “if I had done this 20 years ago, when Wilt was still alive.”
(Photo/Video Source: SI.com)