by Daniel Olsen | In the second installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry must solve a mystery on what monster lies in a hidden chamber in the Hogwarts castle and who is opening it. He found out that fifty years ago a boy named Tom Riddle opened it and used his old diary to get another student to open it. While we won’t be dueling any basilisks (a giant snake that kills you with one look) we will be exploring a different boy named Tom who unlocked the secrets to success at his favorite sport 50 years ago. Consider this the diary of Tom Chambers that will hypnotize you until you eat, breathe and sleep old school Runnin’ Ute hoops.
The young boy Tom Chambers
Riddle, I mean Chambers, was born in a far away land called Ogden, Utah. He was not an average child as his family was dedicated to the art of athletics. He unlocked a secret to his basketball success as he grew six inches after his sophomore year with no loss in coordination. With the same skills he attained as a 6’2” guard on the sophomore team, he was now a versatile weapon at Fairview High School in Boulder, Colorado. Thanks to Chambers, it is now known as a school of sports wizardry just for the fact that he attended there. There have also been other notable alumni such as All-Star MLB pitcher Jay Howell, NFL coach Chuck Pagano and actress Jessica Biel.
He sold his soul for basketball
While Tom Riddle in the Harry Potter series was working on splitting his soul into seven pieces, Chambers put his heart and soul into perfecting the seven habits of highly effective basketball players:
2. Ball Handling
The rise to power
In college, Chambers and his tall sidekick Danny Vranes terrorized the WAC. Chambers was awarded second-team All-WAC in his second and third years and first-team in his final year. He finished his collegiate career at Utah with a 2-3 postseason record. The only year in which they did not qualify for the postseason was the 1979-1980 season.
You-Know-Who scores 60
By 1990, Chambers had become a household name especially among those down in the Arizona desert. He had already been an All-Star three times. In March 24, 1990 Chambers could not miss. The chamber of his basketball secrets had indeed been open. He petrified the Seattle SuperSonics to such a degree that they have now been reduced to a small market location in the city of Oklahoma and call themselves the Thunder. He was consumed by basketball that night and killed his opponent with an array of outside jumpers and dunks. This is one of the highest scoring games from any player with ties to Utah. Donovan Mitchell currently owns the Jazz record with 57 points last year in the Game 1 of the NBA bubble playoffs.
The fall of Chambers
In the Chamber of Secrets, Tom Marvolo Riddle rearranged the letters of his full name to read “I am Lord Voldemort”. While not as cool, Tom Doan Chambers rearranged is “So Chamber and Tom”. This is where we start our story. So Chamber and Tom united to unleash the secrets of success with the Phoenix Suns. He had short stints with the San Diego Clippers and Seattle SuperSonics before the height of his success in Phoenix. In the 1993 NBA finals, Chambers accepted his role as a sixth man behind new stars Charles Barkley and Dan Majerle. He was 33 years old and on the decent. Another powerful basketball wizard in Michael Jordan sent them home in six games. He was the only basketball wizard Tom, and perhaps the whole NBA, ever feared in that era.
Chambers teamed up with the Utah Jazz after that championship runner-up season with Phoenix. He was back in his old college stomping ground and playing in the newly created Delta Center. He was a solid backup to Karl Malone and helped the Jazz advance to the 1994 Western Conference Finals. The Jazz lost in five games to the eventual NBA champion Houston Rockets. Chambers played one more year before taking his talents overseas for two seasons.
After winning the Israeli League championship and leading his Maccabi Tel Aviv team in scoring, Chambers returned to Phoenix but was moved around the NBA several times before he finally accepted defeat to Father Time and retired from the game he loved.
Remembering the legacy of Chambers
After scoring 20,049 career NBA points, Chambers is currently a Top 50 All-Time scorer in the NBA. He averaged 18.1 points per game throughout his career. He will be best remembered for the 60 point game as well as the 1987 NBA All-Star Game MVP. He was named second-team all-NBA behind Malone in 1989 and Barkley in 1990. While this generation might not remember his legacy, it is important that the people of Utah understand the greatness that came of a kid from Ogden.