He was the greatest basketball player and perhaps the greatest athlete who ever lived. Wilt Chamberlain, 63, is said to have died of a heart attack, but that doesn’t ring a bell. Are you supposed to wonder why the world’s greatest athlete would die of a heart attack?
He was born in 1936, in Philadelphia. He was 6-11 when he entered Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, led them to three public school championships and two all-city titles, Chamberlain became one of the most recruited players ever with more of 200 interested colleges, has scored over 100 points in a National Basketball Association game and averaged over 30 points per game throughout his professional career. However, when he was in high school he was the best high school quarterback in the United States and ran under 48 seconds. He also did a high jump of over 6 feet, five inches and was the top shot putter in Pennsylvania. He remained active after his NBA career and was considered an outstanding volleyball player. He also competed in the Honolulu Marathon and competed in a 50 mile race in Canada.
Long after his career had ended, Chamberlain made headlines by claiming in an autobiography that he had had sex with 20,000 women. Let’s see how good you are at diagnosing the disease. Chamberlain’s health first became an issue in the 1960s, when a former coach told media that the star player might have had a heart attack before the 1964 season. But Chamberlain denied it. In 1992, when Chamberlain reunited with former teammates for a halftime ceremony marking the anniversary of their 1971-72 NBA championship, he had to leave early because he was struggling to breathe. He was admitted to the hospital and was found to have an irregular heartbeat. He was released from the hospital after three days of wearing a heart monitoring device.
In his later years he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy which meant his heart was too weak to pump blood through his body and he lost 50 pounds in the months leading up to his death. There are three causes of weak heart muscle. Lack of nutrients, blocked arteries and infection.
You can suffer from nutritional deficiency like beriberi caused by lack of vitamin thiamine or pellagra caused by lack of vitamin niacin. It is almost impossible today in North America. The second possible cause of a failing heart is the blocked arteries caused by arteriosclerosis and he did not have very high cholesterol and he did not have arteriosclerosis. The third possibility is an infection of his heart caused by bacteria such as chlamydia and mycoplasmas.
The fact that he lost 50 pounds and couldn’t get anywhere in the last few months of his life indicates a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy, that is, damage to the heart muscle, caused by infection with chlamydia or mycoplasma, from having sex to far fewer than the 20,000 women he claimed. That comes down to 500 women a year, or 10 different women a week for 40 years, which would make the world’s greatest athlete the most prolific lover of all time. Cardiomyopathy is often caused by chlamydia.
Chamberlain’s body was cremated, so we’ll never know for sure how he died.