Wilt Chamberlain Height

"It is said that good things come to those who wait. I believe that good things come to those who work."

~ Wilt Chamberlain

Famous basketball player, Wilt Chamberlain is known as one of the greatest players in basketball's history.

Wilt Chamberlain is known for other things as well. His stature is certainly one of them. He was a giant of a man who made Muhammad Ali look like a small boy. Muhammad Ali who was nearly 6-feet-3 inches tall himself called Wilt Chamberlain "Timber" for a reason. And here is how Wikipedia describes Mr. Chamberlain's physical stature:

"Chamberlain stood 7-feet-1 inch (2.16 m) tall, and weighed 250 pounds (110 kg) as a rookie, before gaining up to 275 pounds (125 kg) and later to over 300 pounds (140 kg) with the Lakers."

Wilt Chamberlain was measured in the NCAAs at 7 feet 1 and 1/8″ inches in his bare feet. Years later after he retired, he was measured lying on a table on Philadelphia TV from top of his head to the bottom of his feet, with no shoes. This time, he was measured 7 and a half an inch.

Wilt seemed even bigger than that -- perhaps because he had a relatively short neck and head. That made his shoulders high and added to his standing reach.

Looking at the photos of Wilt next to Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Jabbar seems to be nearly an inch taller at the top of the head, but Wilt is nearly an inch taller at the top of the shoulders. Kareem has an inch on Wilt only because he has a long neck and a big head.

Chamberlain had a 92 inches arm span (measured on TV with Muhammad Ali) and a 48″ vertical leap. He ran five events in college and continued heavily into playing sports even after retiring from the NBA. Chamberlain was certainly was a star athlete.

Below (second) is a photo of Wilt next to Bill Walton, Shaquille O’Neal, Bill Russell (6-feet-9 and 5/8 of an inch), and Kareem Abdul Jabbar (7'2"). UCLA coach John Wooden is in front. The angle is not straight, but it is still obvious that even a 50-year-old Wilt Chamberlain was big enough to make young Shaquille O'Neal look small.

Shaq clearly isn’t 7-feet-1 inches tall as he is listed by the NBA. The photo shows Shaq to be slightly shorter than Wilt Chamberlain. Perhaps Shaq is really around the 6-feet-11 and 7/8 of an inch tall as he was said to have been measured at LSU.

The photo also confirms that Walton was really 7-feet tall as well -- as he was always rumored to be. He wanted to be listed at 6′11″ in order to be respected as a basketball player, not just a “7-foot freak.”

The real height of Wilt Chamberlain was

7'1" or 216 cm

Wilt Chamberlain Height
Wilt Chamberlain height comparison with Yao Ming (7'6"), and Michael Jordan (6'5")

Bill Walton, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O'Neal, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Bill Walton (7"), Wilt Chamberlain (7'1"), Shaquille O'Neal (around 7"), Bill Russell (6'10"), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (7'2")

For reference, here is the average human height around the world.

Country Male Female
Indonesia 5'4" 4'11"
India 5'5½" 5'½"
Mexico 5'6½" 5'1½"
China 5'6½" 5'1½"
Japan 5'7½" 5'2½"
Brazil 5'8" 5'3"
Russia 5'9" 5'3¾"
United States 5'9¼" 5'4"
United Kingdom 5'9½" 5'4¼"
Canada 5'10" 5'4½"
Australia 5'10" 5'4½"
Germany 5'10½" 5'5"
Sweden 5'11" 5'5½"
Netherlands 5'11½" 5'6"

Data was collected from official sources wherever possible. A more detailed chart can be found here.

"Everything is habit-forming, so make sure what you do is what you want to be doing."

~ Wilt Chamberlain