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Wilt Chamberlain – Track and Field at the University of Kansas (KU) In Addition to Basketball
Wilt Chamberlain is best known to sports fans as one of the most dominant basketball players of all time. For those less familiar with the sport and basketball, Wilt Chamberlain’s name might sound familiar due to his highly publicized personal life. What many people don’t realize is that before basketball became the focus of his life, the first sport Wilt fell in love with was track and field.
Chamberlain was born August 21, 1936, and grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he had eight siblings from the same parents as father William and mother Olivia. As a youngster growing up in eastern Pennsylvania, Wilt said his first reaction to the game of basketball was that he considered it “a game for sissies.” The sport that young Wilt Chamberlain was exponentially more passionate about was athletics.
Before he even reached high school age, the athletically athletic Wilt Chamberlain reportedly jumped 6’6″ high, which is a mark that would win most college track competitions. Around the same time, Wilt was exhibiting also ridiculously impressive long jump numbers which are understood to be as far as 22 feet. For comparison, almost all high school track athletes cannot reach 22 feet in a long jump in running and Wit is said to have achieved this length from a stationary standing wide jumping position, wide jumping skills are perhaps to be expected given what the public now knows of his success on the basketball court , but Wilt’s athletic prowess was not limited to jumping events.
Thanks to the long strides and powerful running style Chamberlain used, he was a miraculous middle-distance runner with his tween 49 seconds in the 440-yard run (once around a standard track) and under. two minutes over the 880-yard distance (twice around a standard track) are exceptional numbers, even for a college athlete. Chamberlain excelled in all aspects of athletics, including running, jumping, and throwing. He is said to have thrown a weight over 53 feet in his youth.
Chamberlain matured very quickly and continued to grow at a rapid pace. At the age of 10, the young man was already 6 feet tall and when he started high school, he was 6 feet 11 inches tall. the 240-pound Chamberlain could reach 9’6″ in the air just standing with flat feet (not tiptoes).
Wilt began his first love of athletics at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, while also playing basketball there. The 7’2″ goliath ran a 100-yard dash in under 11 seconds and also threw the shot put 56 feet. and successfully won the Big 8 conference high jump competition three years from In the world of athletics, he is an extraordinarily rare athlete who can compete at the highest level in the shortest sprints, all the jumping events and the throwing events.This dynamic collection of talents is so rare in fact, Wilt might be the only man with this unique skill set.
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