Former Houston Rockets star Ralph Sampson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday. Sampson is a three-time all-American and attended the University of Virginia. Joining Sampson in the class are five-time NBA All-Star Reggie Miller, the NBA’s all-time most winning coach Don Nelson and former college and NBA star Jamaal Wilkes.
Sampson was one of the most highly sought after basketball players. He went on to make a lasting impact during his time with Virginia from 1979-83. During his college career, he led the Cavaliers to the NIT championship, a NCAA Final Four appearance and an Elite Eight appearance. He was also one of six basketball players in NCAA history to score 2,000 points and grab 1,500 rebounds during his college career.
Known as a “7-foot-4 phenom”, Sampson was the No. 1 pick in the 1983 NBA Draft for the Houston Rockets. As a rookie for Houston, he averaged 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds, played in the All-Star Game, and won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.