Wilson Jamall Chandler was born on May 10, 1987. He started playing basketball in fifth grade at Fairplain East Elementary School in Benton Harbor, MI. He led Benton Harbor high school to an undefeated regular season record as a senior, averaging 24 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks and four steals while shooting .680, and was named Michigan’s Mr. Basketball in 2005. He played summer basketball with the Michigan Hurricanes AAU program.
Recruited to DePaul university, Chandler averaged 12.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.46 blocks over two seasons, starting 52 of his 59 career games. A tribute to his athleticism and creativity, four of his collegiate dunks were highlighted on Sportscenter’s Top 10 Plays of the Day. He entered the NBA draft after his sophomore season.
The New York Knicks selected Chandler in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft. As a rookie he played in 35 games (16 starts), and played in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge at 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend in Phoenix (6 points, 7 rebounds).
Emerging as a standout performer on both ends of the floor in his sophomore season, Chandler was the only Knick to play in all 82 games (70 starts). He averaged 14.4 points and 5.4 rebounds, good for 5th and 6th among second-year players, respectively.
Though his third season was shortened by injury, Chandler averaged a career-high 15.3 points (third on team) and 5.4 rebounds. On February 22, 2011, Chandler was traded to the Denver Nuggets. Chandler immediately made an impact in his debut for the Nuggets, scoring 16 points, including 8 key fourth quarter points, in a victory over the Boston Celtics.
During the 2011 NBA lockout, Wilson Chandler played for Zhejiang Guangsha of the Chinese Basketball Association. He finished out the regular season and returned to the NBA, signing a five year deal to return to the Nuggets in March 2012.
Chandler is the proud father of a daughter, Jaya. He credits his grandmother Olivia Chandler, who raised him in Benton Harbor, Mich., with most helping him mature as an individual. He has paid tribute to her with a tattoo of her name across his neck. Wilson Chandler is known for his myriad of nicknames which include; Wil, Ill Wil, Kill at Wil, Wil the Thrill, Willie Blanco and Willie McFly. (He prefers Ill Wil.)
While playing for the Knicks, Chandler was actively involved in many charity events for the Garden of Dreams organization.
- High honorable mention High School All-American by Street & Smith’s
- McDonald’s All-American nominee
- All-American honors from Parade Magazine
- Michigan’s Mr. Basketball in 2005
- Unanimous Big East All-Rookie Team pick following freshman year in 2005-06
- 2006 Big East All-Rookie as a freshman
- 2007 Second Team All-Big East as a sophomore
- T-Mobile Rookie Challenge participant at 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend in Phoenix