A Giant At An Early Age
Named Wilton after the street on which his parents lived in west Philadelphia, Chamberlain was one of eight children born to William and Olivia Chamberlain. William worked as a porter at a publishing company, and Olivia sometimes cleaned houses to supplement the family's income. Given Chamberlain's size, one might guess that his parents or siblings were tall, but such was not the case. Indeed, none of the other nine Chamberlains exceeded a modest 5'9" in height.
At the age of 10, Wilt was already tall, and he became positively gargantuan after he reached adolescence. In a single summer, he gained four inches, and by the time he began playing for Overbrook High School, he stood 6'11". With his height, he was a natural for basketball, but from the beginning, he was not simply big: he was also graceful, resourceful, and creative as a player.