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Ralph Sampson

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Information about Ralph Sampson

Profile image of Ralph Sampson

Profession

Category:
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Basketball Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Pancakes, Bacon, Eggs
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
It Takes Team Work To Make A Dream Work.

Birthplace

Born:
7/7/1960
Birth Location:
Harrisonburg, Virginia

Profession

Category:
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Basketball Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Pancakes, Bacon, Eggs
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
It Takes Team Work To Make A Dream Work.

Birthplace

Born:
7/7/1960
Birth Location:
Harrisonburg
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Biography

Basketball player Ralph Sampson was born on July 7, 1960 in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Standing at 7’4’’, he was born with a natural talent for basketball. Sampson attended Harrisonburg High School, where he led the basketball team to victory in two State AA Championships in 1978 and 1979. Sampson then went on to attend the University of Virginia, where he received his B.A. degree and played for the university’s basketball team, the Cavaliers. During college, Sampson won three Naismith Awards for National Player of the Year and was only the second person to do so. He also received an unprecedented two Wooden Awards for Player of the Year. In 1980, Sampson and the Cavaliers won the National Invitation Tournament. In 1981, the Cavaliers made it to the NCAA Final Four.

Referred to as the most recruited college basketball player of all time, Sampson was the first pick in the 1983 NBA draft. Drafted by the Houston Rockets, Sampson won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award and played in the NBA All-Star Game for the first of four times. In 1984, the Rockets drafted Hakeem Olajuwon and the two came to be known as the “Twin Towers,” an unstoppable basketball duo that played together in 1985’s NBA All-Star Game. Sampson was named MVP for that game, and earned a spot on the All-NBA Second Team. In 1986, Sampson injured his knee and was traded to the Golden State Warriors. He went on to play for the Sacramento Kings and the Washington Bullets. Unable to fully recover from several knee and back injuries, Sampson retired in 1992.

In 1996, Sampson was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. In 2002, Sampson was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference 50th Anniversary Men’s Basketball Team, a position that honored him as one of the 50 best basketball players in the history of the ACC. Sampson founded The Sampson Group, a consulting group, in 2005. In 2006, he went on to found Winner’s Circle Community, an online community dedicated to providing a forum for open and informed communication. That same year, Sampson also founded the Winner’s Circle Foundation, an organization to help young athletes achieve success. In 2010, he published a book entitled Winner’s Circle: The Ralph Sampson Game Plan; What Great Players Do Before, During and After the Game to help young athletes mentally prepare for and achieve success.

Ralph Sampson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on…

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ralph Sampson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ralph Sampson lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ralph Sampson describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ralph Sampson talks about learning about his maternal grandfather through stories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ralph Sampson describes his likeness to his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ralph Sampson describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ralph Sampson talks about his paternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ralph Sampson recalls his paternal grandfather's career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ralph Sampson remembers his paternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ralph Sampson describes his likeness to his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ralph Sampson talks about his father's career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ralph Sampson describes his mother's career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ralph Sampson describes his parents' early relationship
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ralph Sampson describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ralph Sampson remembers Christmas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ralph Sampson recalls his neighborhood in Harrisonburg, Virginia, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ralph Sampson recalls his neighborhood in Harrisonburg, Virginia, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ralph Sampson remembers Waterman Elementary School in Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ralph Sampson talks about his early growth spurts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ralph Sampson talks about his experiences at Thomas Harrison Junior High School in Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ralph Sampson remembers his extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ralph Sampson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ralph Sampson talks about his early influences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ralph Sampson recalls playing basketball at Thomas Harrison Junior High School in Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ralph Sampson remembers the role of sports in his family
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ralph Sampson recalls his early experiences of religion
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ralph Sampson remembers playing basketball at Harrisonburg High School in Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ralph Sampson talks about his basketball teammates at Harrisonburg High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ralph Sampson recalls the college basketball recruitment process
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ralph Sampson remembers his senior year of high school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ralph Sampson remembers his college decision process
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ralph Sampson recalls visiting his top four college campuses
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ralph Sampson describes his decision to attend the University of Virginia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ralph Sampson talks about LeBron James' career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ralph Sampson describes the collegiate basketball conferences
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ralph Sampson recalls his transition to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ralph Sampson remembers his sophomore year at the University of Virginia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ralph Sampson describes his decision to complete his degree at the University of Virginia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ralph Sampson talks about his academic experiences at the University of Virginia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ralph Sampson describes his experience in the NBA draft
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ralph Sampson reflects upon the impact of the NBA on his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ralph Sampson remembers his teammates on the Houston Rockets
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ralph Sampson talks about his career with the Houston Rockets
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ralph Sampson remembers playing in the NBA All-Star Weekend
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ralph Sampson talks about his family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ralph Sampson recalls being traded to the Golden State Warriors
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ralph Sampson remembers being traded to the Sacramento Kings
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ralph Sampson describes his transition to the EuroLeague
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Ralph Sampson talks about his knee injuries
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ralph Sampson recalls playing against Michael Jordan
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ralph Sampson remembers coaching at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ralph Sampson recalls founding Ralph Sampson Sportswear, Inc.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ralph Sampson talks about the Winner's Circle Foundation
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ralph Sampson remembers Kristal Watson
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ralph Sampson talks about the Winner's Circle Foundation's after school program
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ralph Sampson describes his book projects
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Ralph Sampson reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Ralph Sampson shares a message to future generations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Ralph Sampson reflects upon his legacy