I have read in this ESPN article that Wilt Chamberlain could dunk the ball from the free throw line.

Did he really do that? Is there any proof of him actually doing so?

  • 1
    Unless this is for a slam dunk contest, this is trivial. Jordan and Dr. J proved they could do it. I don't think asking this type of question about a particular athlete benefits the site either.
    – JeffO
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 17:29
  • 2
    This question is no more off-topic than dozens we have allowed, answered and upvoted in the past year. Yes, it's trivial: that's what our trivia is for. Yes, it's a source request: so are the majority of rules and statistics questions.
    – Nij
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 23:56
  • @Nij Sir retracted my close vote. Maybe we could discuss this in meta. Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 15:36
  • A response has answered this question on the basis of several historic documents. It is no more POB than the vast majority of rules and officiating questions. Stop make random CV because you have not paid attention. @thenonsenseuserdoingdumbstuff
    – Nij
    Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 6:56

2 Answers 2


After watching many Wilt Chamberlain dunk compilations and reading many articles on The Big Dipper, I can say with a large degree of certainty that Wilt Chamberlain was able to dunk the ball from the free throw line.

For the second question, if by "proof" the OP means "video evidence" then I'm afraid it simply cannot be found if it even exists.

On the other hand, in terms of proof, a strong case can be built that Wilt Chamberlain was able to dunk from the foul line via Witness Testimony and Wilt's Self Proclamation.

On November 28th, 1956 the "Toledo Blade" (a Northwestern Ohio newspaper) published this article which details the "Big Seven" conference's 2 rule changes based on then sophomore Wilt chamberlain:

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The article is based on a source-less example which narrates Chamberlain's "unorthodox" free throws:

"The big guy takes aim at the basket from several feet behind the line. Then he takes about three giant steps, leaves his feet before reaching the line, and stuffs the ball through the hoop."

Tex Winter (a rival coach at Kansas state) seems to affirm Wilt's ability to dunk from the foul line by stating:

"Why, he would have a free throw percentage of 100." said Winter. "He never missed."

On top of this statement, Winter also lays out the sequences of Chamberlain dunking from the foul line as an eyewitness at approximately 3:50 in this video

Wilt himself even confirmed stories of himself dunking from the foul line when on February 12,1989 in a Los Angeles Times piece, Wilt is quoted saying:

" When I was a freshman, I fooled around with shooting free throws this way: For some reason, I thought you had to stay within the top half of that free-throw circle, so I would step back to just inside the top of the circle, take off from behind the line and dunk. They outlawed that, but I wouldn't have done it in a game, anyway. I was a good free throw shooter in college."

So, based on these witness testimonies and confirmation of them by Wilt himself, we would be with good reason to believe that Wilt Chamberlain was able to dunk from the foul line and did.


Apparently, the only instance in which he dunked a free throw in a public setting came in December 1955, during the annual scrimmage between his Kansas freshman team and the Jayhawks varsity. The NCAA changed the rules before he could do it in an official game.

  • Do you have a citation you could add?
    – Val
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 16:44
  • Welcome to Sports SE! Here on the site we often request that users provide citations and detailed answers to back up claims regarding their answers. Feel free to edit your answer for consideration, however there is already a detailed accepted answer above.
    – Seplo
    Commented Feb 8, 2020 at 20:35

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