Headed To The Hall
Ralph Sampson named to Basketball Hall of Fame
HOUSTON - The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today that Ralph Sampson will be one of the 12 members of the Class of 2012 to be honored Sept. 6-8, 2012, during this year’s Enshrinement Ceremonies. It was announced earlier today in New Orleans, Louisiana, site of the 2012 NCAA Final Four. Selected by the Houston Rockets with the first pick of the 1983 NBA Draft, Sampson went on to collect Rookie of the Year honors in 1984. Standing 7-foot-4, Sampson joined Hakeem Olajuwon as the famed “Twin Towers” tandem that led the Rockets to the 1986 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. It was actually Sampson’s last-second shot that helped the Rockets defeat the defending NBA Champion L.A. Lakers in Game Five of the 1986 Western Conference Finals.
“I am thrilled for Ralph and proud that yet another member of the Rockets family has been selected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame,” said Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander. “This is a well-deserved honor for a terrific player and one of the all-time Rockets fan favorites.”
Sampson averaged 15.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.65 blocks in 456 career NBA games (363 starts) with Houston (1983-88), Golden State (1987-89), Sacramento (1989-91) and Washington (1991-92). He was a four-time NBA All-Star, earning MVP of the 1985 NBA All-Star Game. With the Rockets, Sampson averaged 19.7 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.92 blocks in 305 games (291 starts). He still stands sixth in team history in scoring average, fifth in rebounds per game and second in blocked shots average. Sampson was recently named by the Rockets to the 1980s Team of the Decade on Feb. 28, 2012.
One of the top collegiate players of all-time, Sampson became only the third three-time National College Player of the Year during a stellar career at Virginia. He was also a three-time Naismith Award winner and a two-time Wooden Award recipient. Sampson led the Cavaliers to an NIT Championship and one Final Four appearance. He was only the sixth player in NCAA history to collect 2,000 points and 1,500 rebounds.
Sampson will be joined in the Class of 2012 by Reggie Miller, Don Nelson, Jamaal Wilkes, Katrina McClain, Hank Nichols, Mel Daniels, Don Barksdale, Lidia Alexeeva, Chet Walker, Phil Knight, and the first women’s professional basketball team, the All-American Red Heads. Official Enshrinement Ceremonies are scheduled for Sept. 7, 2012, at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.