Wilton Norman "Wilt" Chamberlain (August 21, 1936 – October 12, 1999) was an American professional NBA basketball player for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers; he also played for the Harlem Globetrotters. The 7 foot 1 inch Chamberlain, who weighed 250 lbs as a rookie before bulking up to 275 lb and eventually over 300 lb with the Lakers, played the center position and is considered by his contemporaries as one of the greatest and most dominant players in the history of the NBA.
Chamberlain holds numerous official NBA all-time records, setting records in many scoring, rebounding and durability categories. Among other notable accomplishments, he is the only player in NBA history to average more than 40 and 50 points in a season or score 100 points in a single NBA game. He also won seven scoring, nine field goal percentage, and eleven rebounding titles, and once even led the league in assists. Although suffering a long string of professional losses, Chamberlain had a successful career, winning two NBA titles, earning four regular-season Most Valuable Player awards, the Rookie of the Year award, one NBA Finals MVP award, and being selected to 13 All-Star Games and ten All-NBA First and Second teams. Chamberlain was subsequently enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978, elected into the NBA's 35th Anniversary Team of 1980, and chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History of 1996.
Chamberlain was known by various nicknames during his basketball playing career. He hated the ones that called attention to his height such as Goliath and Wilt the Stilt, which was coined during his high school days by a Philadelphia sportswriter. He preferred The Big Dipper, Dippy or Dipper, all of which were inspired by his friends who saw him dip his head as he walked through doorways. He was also called the Chairman of the Boards.
After his basketball career, Chamberlain played volleyball in the short-lived International Volleyball Association, was president of this organization and enshrined in the IVA Hall of Fame for his contributions. Chamberlain was also a successful businessman, authored several books and appeared in the movie Conan the Destroyer. He was a lifelong bachelor and became notorious for his claim to have had sex with 20,000 women, a statement which has entered popular culture.
* 1 Early years
* 2 High school career
* 3 College career
* 4 Professional career
o 4.1 Harlem Globetrotters (1958–1959)
o 4.2 Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors (1959–1965)
o 4.3 Philadelphia 76ers (1965–1968)
o 4.4 Los Angeles Lakers (1968–1973)
o 4.5 San Diego Conquistadors (1973)
* 5 Post-NBA career
* 6 Legacy
* 7 Personal life
* 8 See also
* 9 Notes
* 10 Further reading
* 11 External links
 Early years
Wilton Norman Chamberlain was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, into a family of nine children. As his biographer Robert Cherry observed, he was a frail child, nearly dying of pneumonia in his early years and missing a whole year of school as a result. In his early years, Chamberlain was not interested in basketball, because he thought it was "a game for sissies". Instead, he was an avid track and field athlete: as a youth, he high jumped 6 feet, 6 inches, ran the 440 yards in 49.0 seconds and the 880 yards in 1:58.3, put the shot 53 feet, 4 inches, and broad jumped 22 feet. But according to Chamberlain, "basketball was king in Philadelphia", so he eventually turned to the sport. Because Chamberlain was a very tall child, already measuring 6 feet at age 10 and 6 feet 11 inches when he entered Philadelphia's Overbrook High School, he had a natural advantage against his peers; he soon was renowned for his scoring talent, his physical strength and his shot blocking abilities. According to ESPN journalist Hal Bock, Chamberlain was "scary, flat-out frightening... before he came along, most basketball players were mortal-sized men. Chamberlain changed that." It was also in this period of his life when his three life-long nicknames "Wilt the Stilt", "Goliath", and his favorite, "The Big Dipper" (because he always had to dip his head before entering a room), were allegedly born.