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In a 2022 interview, Williams said he still hears regularly from Walker: “One thing that eats at him is why the Bulls didn’t retire his number 25. He says, ‘You and I helped save basketball in Chicago.’ And they retired Bob Love’s number and Jerry Sloan’s, so why not retire Chet’s?”

Chester Walker was born on February 22, 1940 in Bethlehem, Miss. He was born the youngest of 10 children of John and Regenia Walker. The family owned a small cotton farm where Walker worked until his mother suffered physical abuse from her husband in 1950, when she lost her daughter to tuberculosis; She moved to Benton Harbor, Mich., with her young children.

Facing the merger for the first time, Walker starred at Benton Harbor High School and earned a scholarship to Bradley University, where he was a two-time consensus All-America and averaged 24.4 points and 12.8 rebounds in three seasons. Nicknamed “Chet the Jet”, he was drafted in the second round by the Syracuse Nationals, made the NBA’s All-Rookie team and was traded to Philadelphia by the franchise in 1963. He averaged 18.2 points and 7.1 rebounds.

Information about Walker’s survivors was not immediately available.

Walker’s mentor in the film industry and a Chicago neighbor with connections to Hollywood was producer Zev Brown. Brown was Walker’s first producer in 1979, “Freedom Road,” a television miniseries about a former slave who came to the United States Senate during Reconstruction. The series, based on the 1944 novel by Howard Fast, starred Muhammad Ali and Kris Kristofferson.

Walker’s 1989 television series “Mother Courage” with Richard L. Starring Alfre Woodard, it was based on the life of Mary Thomas, a single mother struggling to provide for her nine children on the poor West Side of Chicago, while the youngest, Isiah, became one of the NBA’s greatest point guards.