Wilt Chamberlain was good enough as a middle-schooler to make most division I starting rosters, but under the rules of the day he had to wait his turn. After sensational seasons at Overbrook High School, he was forced to play on the University of Kansas freshman team in 1955. The world waited for his debut on the KU varsity squad the next season which would happen on December 3 against the Northwestern Wildcats. He scored 52 points and grabbed 31 rebounds! His debut was so highly anticipated that a photographer named Richard Clarkson, a local guy from Lawrence, took this amazing photograph of Wilt lacing up his big shoes before his first game on the varsity squad! A newspaper article on the back that this photo was used to make secures this as an early 1956 Chamberlain as it talks about a series of two games Kansas would be playing at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. These games took place on December 14-15, 1956 and it would have taken time for this photo to arrive in Seattle via mail after being taken and enveloped in Kansas! One of the most important images ever taken of Wilt Chamberlain and this is a new discovery that is being offered here for the first time ever! The quality and clarity of the photograph is perfect with the smallest detail visible to the naked eye. An artist at the Seattle Post Intelligencer marked the image with pencil (to frame Wilt for publication) and then colored over the lines years later (editorial enhancements from publication) and while the markings are hard to see, they affect the technical grade more than the aesthetics of the piece. These markings aside, the photo is nearly perfect. A work of art that is worthy of even the greatest collection in world!
Designation: Vintage 1
Overall Grade: 6.5/10