Ralph Sampson Finalist for Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.-Former Virginia standout Ralph Sampson is among 12 finalists announced recently to be considered for election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.
In addition to Sampson the list of finalists includes Alvin Attles, Maurice Cheeks, Teresa Edwards, Herb Magee, Dick Motta, Chris Mullin, Hank Nichols, Dennis Rodman, Tara Vanderveer, Jamaal Wilkes and Tex Winter.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2011 will be announced on April 4 at a news conference in Houston prior to the championship game of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Sampson, a 7-4 center, was a three-time National and Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year during his four years (1980-83) in the Virginia program. He was a four-time All-America selection, earned three consecutive Rupp trophies and Naismith Awards, and two consecutive John R. Wooden Awards and Eastman Awards.
With Sampson in the program, the Cavaliers won the 1980 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) Championship and participated in three consecutive NCAA Tournaments (1981-83), reaching the Final Four in 1981. Virginia compiled an overall record of 112-23 with Sampson on the team and was ranked in the Top 10 by The Associated Press for 49 consecutive weeks.
Sampson scored 2,228 points during his UVa career and also totaled 1,511 rebounds, 899 field goals and 462 blocked shots. He is the Cavaliers’ career leader in rebounds, field goals and blocked shots, and ranks fourth on UVa’s career scoring list.
Following his four-year collegiate career, Sampson was selected by the Houston Rockets as the NBA’s number-one draft choice in 1983 and went on to earn NBA Rookie of the Year honors. He participated in three NBA All-Star games and was MVP of the NBA All-Star Game in 1985.
During his nine-season NBA career, he helped lead Houston to the 1986 NBA Finals and later played for the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings and Washington Bullets.