Wilt Chamberlain (1936-99) was considered one of the world's all-time greatest professional basketball players.
Wilt Chamberlain was born in Philadelphia and was one of nine children. His father lived in a racially-mixed middle class neighborhood, and Chamberlain had a relatively pleasant childhood. At Shoemaker Junior High School, Wilt began to play on the basketball team, and he also played on the playgrounds against older players who taught him a lot about the game. He later said, "I still think you could pick up a team from the street corners of Philly that would give most colleges a real hard time." Wilt attended Overbrook High School in Philadelphia beginning in 1952. At that time he was already 6'11" tall, and had developed what he termed a "deep love for basketball."
Chamberlain's high school basketball career was astounding. In three seasons he scored more than 2200 points. More than two hundred universities recruited Chamberlain, but he wanted to get away from big cities and preferred to play in the midwest. After seriously considering Dayton, Michigan, Indiana, and Kansas Universities he chose Kansas because of the recruiting by Hall of Fame coach Phog Allen.
At the University of Kansas, Chamberlain continued his brilliant play on the basketball court, scoring fifty-two points in his first varsity game. During his first varsity season he led the Jayhawks to the finals of the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament, but they lost to North Carolina in double overtime. During his college career he averaged over thirty points per game and was twice selected to All-American teams. Following his junior year, he decided to quit college and become a professional because, he said, "The game I was forced to play at [Kansas] wasn't basketball. It was hurting my chances of ever developing into a successful professional player."
Because he did not play his final season at Kansas, Chamberlain was not eligible to join an NBA team until one more year....