Former NBA All-Star, Wake Forest legend Chappell dead at 77
Len Chappell, a former NBA All-Star and two-time ACC Player of the Year while at Wake Forest, died Thursday at age 77, the university announced Friday.
According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the former Demon Deacons star had been
struggling with his health for a few weeks. Dave Budd, who was teammates with
Chappell in college and in the NBA with the New York Knicks, told the Journal
that Chappell was injured in a recent fall and suffered a stroke while
No cause of death was released by Wake Forest. The Journal reported that
Chappell passed away one day after his son, Jason, arrived from Europe to see
Chappell played nine seasons in the NBA for nine teams. Originally taken with
the No. 4 overall pick in the 1962 NBA Draft by the Syracuse Nationals (who
became the Philadelphia 76ers a year later), Chappell was sold to the Knicks
one game into his second season. The 6-foot-8 forward enjoyed his lone
All-Star campaign in that 1963-64 season, averaging 17.1 points and 9.8
rebounds per game.
After three years in New York, Chappell was a journeyman for the remainder of
his six seasons, playing for the Chicago Bulls (1966), Cincinnati Royals
(1966-67), Detroit Pistons (1967-68), Milwaukee Bucks (1968-70), Cleveland
Cavaliers (1970) and Atlanta Hawks (1970-71). He finished his professional
career by playing the 1971-72 season with the Dallas Chaparrals of the ABA.
For his NBA career, he averaged 9.5 points and 5.3 rebounds in 591 games.
Chappell won a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference tournament titles and led
Wake Forest to the school's only Final Four trip in 1962. He was the school's
first consensus All-American. He was also named ACC top player 1961 and 1962,
one of only 10 players in ACC history to win the award twice. He averaged 30.1
points per game as an All-American in 1961-62, still a school single-season
Chappell eventually had his No. 50 retired by the school.
--Field Level Media