Meet UVa Basketball Legend Ralph Sampson at acac

University of Virginia basketball legend Ralph Sampson will visit acac‘s Albemarle Square and Downtown locations in conjunction with acac‘s 30 for 30 campaign to benefit the UVa Cancer Center. Sampson’s father, Ralph, Sr., has battled lung and prostate cancer. Sampson has since focused his time and efforts on raising funds for cancer research.

Sampson, a 7′ 4″ center, had a storied career with UVa men’s basketball 1979-1983. He was named the College Basketball Player of the Year for his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons. He was the ACC Player of the Year three times, a two-time Wooden Award winner, and a three-time Naismith College Player of the Year. During his time at UVa, Ralph scored 2,228 points, had 1,511 rebounds, and blocked 462 shots.

In addition to a slew of individual accolades, Sampson is credited with leading UVa basketball to unprecedented success. During his UVa career, Virginia went 112-23 and was 50-2 at University Hall. The Cavaliers spent 49 consecutive weeks in the Associated Press top 10. In Sampson’s first year, he led them to the NIT championship. Prior to Sampson’s arrival, UVa had never won an NCAA tournament game. His second year, the team went to the Final Four.

Sampson was heavily recruited by the NBA every year he was at UVa. Despite the tempting offers to leave school as a No. 1 draft pick, Sampson remained at UVa to get his degree. When Sampson finally joined the NBA Draft in 1983, he was the 1st overall draft pick for the Houston Rockets. During his first season, Sampson averaged 21 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. He was named NBA Rookie of the Year and played in the NBA All-Star game. In the 1984-1985 season, averaging 22.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, Sampson led the Rockets to the playoffs. He again earned a place on the NBA All-Star Game and with 24 points and 10 rebounds earned the game’s MVP award. The next season, Houston won the Midwest Division and was defeated in the NBA finals against the Boston Celtics. The last six years of Sampson’s professional career were hampered by knee and back injuries. Sampson played in the NBA until 1992 with the Golden State Warriors, the Sacremento Kings and the Washington Bullets.

Sampson was inducted to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.

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Meet and Greet Ralph Sampson at acac

Monday, March 21, 2016

10:00am – 12:00pm at acac Albemarle Square on the basketball court

4:30pm – 6:30pm at acac Downtown on the poolside patio

This event is free and open to Members and Member Guests. Photos and autographs welcome, bring your own camera and/or memorabilia to be signed.