Sampson named to Hall of Fame

Former Virginia standout Ralph Sampson is one of eight members of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame’s induction class of 2011. Sampson is the first Virginia player to be selected for induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

The induction class, which was announced on Monday (Feb. 28), includes players Chris Mullin, Cazzie Russell, James Worthy and Sampson, coaches Bob Knight and Eddie Sutton, and contributors Eddie Einhorn and Joe Vancisin.

It was announced last week that Sampson is among 12 finalists to be considered for election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (Springfield, Mass.) in 2011. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2011 will be announced on April 4.

Induction for the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame’s class of 2011 is scheduled for Nov. 20 at the Midland Theatre in Kansas City. This will be the sixth class inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, which was established in 2006.

“It is always a goal of the selection committee to honor the game’s great innovators and players, and every year as we look at the potential candidates, we are humbled by the way they played, coached and contributed to the great game of college basketball,” said Reggie Minton, deputy executive director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and chair of the Hall of Fame selection panel.

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.

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