Photographic proof that Wilt Chamberlain was already a giant in 4th grade

Here's the ultimate proof that very large world class athletes were once young athletes just like you or me … except still quite enormous.

This is Wilt Chamberlain's fourth grade class. He was already quite large — Twitter
This is Wilt Chamberlain's fourth grade class. He was already quite large — Twitter

The photo you see above, which was magically dug up by Sports Illustrated photo vault curator Andy Gray, depicts the fourth grade class at Brooks Elementary School in 1945. That particular class included one Wilt Chamberlain, who would go on to be one of the most dominant basketball players of all-time.

If you can't pick Wilt out in that photo, you're either A) blind, or B) have forgotten that by the time he reached the NBA, he stood 7-foot tall.

What's most amazing about this photo isn't just that it exists, though that is remarkable in itself. Rather, it's that at age 10 -- he was held back a year while suffering with pneumonia, so he was 10 when this photo was taken (thanks to Ted Silary for that tidbit) -- Wilt was already an enormous human being. According to one biography, he was already 6-feet tall when this photo was snapped. When he entered high school four years later he was 6-foot-11. He's almost twice the size of some of his classmates in this photo (see the girl in the front row on the far left as a reference). That's absolutely ridiculous.

Of course, Chamberlain turned out to be one ridiculous basketball player and human being, mostly in a good way. Now we know he didn't have to wait long to realize he was probably always going to be bigger than everyone else.

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