Kansas reserve forward Justin Wesley will play Wilt Chamberlain in an upcoming movie (photo by Grant Fitch)
"I'm mainly doing it for the history of it," Wesley told Fox Sports Kansas City's Sean Keeler.
"The backstory of the movie is the different reasons that [coach] Phog [Allen] wanted Wilt here, [while] the chancellor [Franklin Murphy] wanted Wilt here to change segregation in Lawrence. He felt like Wilt would change the whole outlook [of the city], and Phog wanted him to change basketball."
Wesley is the second prominent college basketball player to dabble in acting in the past two years. Michigan State's Delvon Roe appeared in some on-campus plays, became a theater major and landed a starring role in the film "AWOL" last summer, events which led to him pursuing a career in acting after chronic knee pain forced him to medically retire from basketball last fall.
It remains to be seen whether Wesley winds up taking acting as seriously as Roe did, but he definitely looks the part of Chamberlain in still photos. Wesley has researched Chamberlain extensively for the role, watching footage of him on the court and in media interviews so that he can emulate the "Big Dippper's" mannerisms and style of play.
There's a chance Wesley's hard work may go to waste, however, if Chamberlain's sister gets her way.
Barbara O. Chamberlain-Lewis, told the Lawrence Journal-World filmmaker Kevin Willmott doesn't have the rights to a film about her brother. Willmott decided to go ahead with a new script anyway, arguing rights were unnecessary since the film has an ensemble cast that also includes the actors playing Allen and Murphy.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Wilt Chamberlain