Ralph Lee Sampson Jr. is an American retired basketball player. He is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. A 7-foot-4 phenom, three-time College Player of the Year, first selection in the 1983 NBA draft, Sampson brought heavy expectations with him to the National Basketball Association; the NBA Rookie of the Year, Sampson averaged 20.7 points and 10.9 rebounds for his first three seasons with the Houston Rockets before injuries began to take their toll. Three knee surgeries he retired as a four-time All-Star, an NBA Rookie of the Year, an NBA All-Star Game MVP. One of his many career highlights was a buzzer-beating shot to dethrone the Los Angeles Lakers as Western Conference champions in 1986, derailing their hopes for coveted back-to-back NBA titles, sending the Rockets to their second NBA Finals in the team's history. Sampson was 6 ft 7 in tall by the ninth grade, reaching 7-foot-1 in high school in Harrisonburg, Virginia, he averaged nearly 30 points, 19 rebounds, 7 blocked shots as a senior, at Harrisonburg High, leading the team to state AA basketball championships in 1978 and 1979.
His senior year he lost the high school player of the year award to another talented center, Sam Bowie. However, he did get a form of revenge against Bowie, outplaying him in the Capital Classic, getting 23 points and 21 rebounds with 4 blocks in a game styled "Battle of the Giants". Sampson was arguably the most recruited college basketball prospect of his generation and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated six times in a span of less than four years. Playing center for the University of Virginia, he led the Cavaliers to an NIT title in 1980, an NCAA Final Four appearance in 1981 and an NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 1983, he earned three Naismith Awards as the National Player of the Year, only the second athlete to do so, a pair of Wooden Awards. Sampson considered declaring for the 1982 NBA draft; the San Diego Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers would flip a coin to determine who would draft first overall, but the deadline for Sampson to make himself available came before the scheduled coin flip.
Rather than risk playing for the Clippers, Sampson stayed in school. With his size and agility Sampson was expected to score like Wilt Chamberlain and win championships like Bill Russell when he reached the National Basketball Association; the Houston Rockets picked him first overall in the 1983 NBA draft. As a rookie, he averaged 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds, played in the All-Star Game, won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. The Rockets managed only a 29–53 record in 1983–84, which qualified them to pick first in the 1984 NBA draft. Houston selected fellow center Hakeem Olajuwon out of the University of Houston. Many observers criticized the Rockets' choice, believing the two 7-footers would not be effective playing together, while others thought the combination could be overpowering. Sampson, playing a new style of power forward, had new expectations placed upon him. At the time, Dallas Mavericks Coach Dick Motta said, "That front line, when history is written, when they've grown up, might be the best assembled on one team.
Ever." Houston guard John Lucas said of Sampson's move to forward, "He'll revolutionize the game."In 1984–85 the Rockets improved by 19 games to 48–34 and made the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. Sampson had his best individual campaign, averaging 22.1 points and 10.4 rebounds and earning a berth on the All-NBA Second Team. He and Olajuwon both played in the 1985 NBA All-Star Game, Sampson, after scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, earned the game's MVP Award. On March 5, 1985, in a loss against the Denver Nuggets, Sampson recorded 30 points, 15 rebounds, 8 assists and 5 steals and was the first player in NBA history to record at least 30 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals since the league started recording steals; the next season Houston won the Midwest Division with a 51–31 record. In the playoffs, the Rockets swept the Sacramento Kings, but faced a stiffer challenge against Alex English and the Denver Nuggets in the Conference Semi-Finals winning the series 4–2, with the sixth and deciding game going to double overtime.
Against the defending champion Lakers in the Conference Finals, the Rockets were ready to knock off their rivals who had the best of them during the season. The Rockets lost game 1, but the Rockets fought back, winning four straight to take the series four games to one. In Game 5 of that series, Sampson provided one of the most memorable moments in NBA Playoff history. With the score tied at 112, Olajuwon having earlier been ejected, with only one second remaining on the clock, Sampson took an inbounds pass and launched a twisting turnaround jumper that sailed through the hoop at the buzzer, giving the Rockets a 114-112 victory and a shocking series upset. In the NBA Finals the Rockets faced the Boston Celtics. Boston sportswriters were not happy about not getting revenge against the Lakers who had beaten the Celtics in the Finals the year before, but the matchup was interesting with the young front court challenging the old guard of the Celtics. During the season at the Boston Garden, the Rockets were playing the Celtics well until Sampson suffered a jarring fall on his back.
At the start of the Finals, Sampson found himself in foul trouble early in Game 1 as Boston went up 2-0 going back to Houston. The Rockets won a close Game 3 under the leader
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is a men's professional basketball league in North America. It is considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world; the NBA is an active member of USA Basketball, recognized by FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player; the league was founded in New York City on June 1946, as the Basketball Association of America. The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League; the league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in New Jersey; the Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada.
On November 1, 1946, in Toronto, Canada, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens, in a game the NBA now refers to as the first game played in NBA history. The first basket was made by Ossie Schectman of the Knickerbockers. Although there had been earlier attempts at professional basketball leagues, including the American Basketball League and the NBL, the BAA was the first league to attempt to play in large arenas in major cities. During its early years, the quality of play in the BAA was not better than in competing leagues or among leading independent clubs such as the Harlem Globetrotters. For instance, the 1948 ABL finalist Baltimore Bullets moved to the BAA and won that league's 1948 title, the 1948 NBL champion Minneapolis Lakers won the 1949 BAA title. Prior to the 1948–49 season, however, NBL teams from Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Rochester jumped to the BAA, which established the BAA as the league of choice for collegians looking to turn professional.
On August 3, 1949, the remaining NBL teams–Syracuse, Tri-Cities, Sheboygan and Waterloo–merged into the BAA. In deference to the merger and to avoid possible legal complications, the league name was changed to the present National Basketball Association though the merged league retained the BAA's governing body, including Podoloff. To this day, the NBA claims the BAA's history as its own, it now reckons the arrival of the NBL teams as an expansion, not a merger, does not recognize NBL records and statistics. The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities, as well as large arenas and smaller gymnasiums and armories. In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1953–54, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises: the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Warriors, Minneapolis Lakers, Rochester Royals, Fort Wayne Pistons, Tri-Cities Blackhawks, Syracuse Nationals, all of which remain in the league today.
The process of contraction saw. The Hawks shifted from the Tri-Cities to Milwaukee in 1951, to St. Louis in 1955; the Rochester Royals moved from Rochester, New York, to Cincinnati in 1957 and the Pistons relocated from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Detroit in 1957. Japanese-American Wataru Misaka broke the NBA color barrier in the 1947–48 season when he played for the New York Knicks, he remained the only non-white player in league history prior to the first African-American, Harold Hunter, signing with the Washington Capitols in 1950. Hunter was cut from the team during training camp, but several African-American players did play in the league that year, including Chuck Cooper with the Celtics, Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton with the Knicks, Earl Lloyd with the Washington Capitols. During this period, the Minneapolis Lakers, led by center George Mikan, won five NBA Championships and established themselves as the league's first dynasty. To encourage shooting and discourage stalling, the league introduced the 24-second shot clock in 1954.
If a team does not attempt to score a field goal within 24 seconds of obtaining the ball, play is stopped and the ball given to its opponent. In 1957, rookie center Bill Russell joined the Boston Celtics, which featured guard Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, went on to lead the club to eleven NBA titles in thirteen seasons. Center Wilt Chamberlain entered the league with the Warriors in 1959 and became a dominant individual star of the 1960s, setting new single game records in scoring and rebounding. Russell's rivalry with Chamberlain became one of the greatest rivalries in the history of American team sports; the 1960s were dominated by the Celtics. Led by Russell, Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, Boston won eight straight championships in the NBA from 1959 to 1966; this championship streak is the longest in NBA history. They did not win the title in 1966–67, but regained it in the 1967–68 season and repeated in 1969; the domination totaled nine of the ten championship banners of the 1960s.
Through this period, the NBA continued to evolve with the shift of the Minneapolis Lakers to Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Warriors to San Francisco, the Syracuse Nationals to Philadelphia to become the Philadelphia 76ers, the St. Louis Hawks moving to Atlanta, as well as the addition of its first expansion franchises; the Chicago Packers (now Wa
Maryland Terrapins men's basketball
The Maryland Terrapins men's basketball team represents the University of Maryland in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I competition. Maryland, a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, left the ACC in 2014 to join the Big Ten Conference. Gary Williams, who coached the Terrapins from 1989 to 2011, led the program to its greatest success, including two consecutive Final Fours, which culminated in the 2002 NCAA National Championship. Under Williams, Maryland appeared in eleven straight NCAA Tournaments from 1994 to 2004, he was replaced by former Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon. The Terrapins played in what many consider to be the greatest Atlantic Coast Conference game in history — and one of the greatest college basketball games — the championship of the 1974 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament, in which they lost 103–100 in overtime to eventual national champion North Carolina State; the game was instrumental in forcing the expansion of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, thus allowing for at-large bids and the inclusion of more than one team per conference.
That Maryland team, with six future NBA draft picks, is considered by many to be the greatest team not to have participated in the NCAA tournament. Before basketball became a permanent fixture in College Park, the school—then known as Maryland Agricultural College—met with little success in its intermittent attempts to establish a basketball team. A team first appeared in 1904–05, playing only two games in an intramural/club setting. Games were played sporadically during the 1910–1911, 1912–13, 1913–1914, the 1918–1919 seasons, going a combined 7–36. Basketball returned to stay for the 1923–24 season, when the school convinced former star quarterback H. Burton Shipley, coaching at the University of Delaware, to come back to his alma mater; the Old Liners, as they were known, joined the Southern Conference in their inaugural season. The team met with moderate success that year at 5–7 and played its first games against future ACC rivals North Carolina and Virginia; the Old Liners had their first sustained success over the next four seasons, finishing at or above.500 in each of them and putting together an outstanding 24–9 record against Southern Conference foes.
The Aggies played their first games against what would become their two other biggest rivals in the future during that time, North Carolina State and Duke. The school's biggest success during its formative years took place in the early 1930s, around the time it adopted its current nickname, Terrapins. After finishing second in the conference in 1930–31, Maryland won the Southern Conference tournaments, beating Louisiana State, North Carolina and Kentucky over five days, a feat they followed by winning the conference regular season crown the next year; the team had its first individual star in Louis "Bosey" Berger, named to All-America teams both seasons. It was during this stretch that the school erected a new home for its basketball teams, Ritchie Coliseum, which housed the team until Cole Field House replaced it a quarter of a century later. Although the team would remain competitive throughout the rest of the decade, finishing as high as second in the conference regular season, it never again matched its achievements of the early part of the decade, as the 1940s began, the school's basketball team fell on exceedingly hard times.
Shipley tallied just one winning season in his last seven years before stepping down to focus on coaching the baseball team, a post he'd held for his entire tenure since returning to College Park. He was succeeded by Flucie Stewart. In what would become a long-running pattern at Maryland when a long-tenured head coach stepped down, Stewart would not last long, putting together three losing seasons in three tries during his brief time at Maryland; the 1950s began with a new head coach leading Bud Millikan. A disciple of legendary coach Henry Iba, Millikan's emphasis on defense and fundamentals would become hallmarks of the program over the next two decades. Maryland reels off seven straight winning seasons under Millikan. For the 1953–54 season, the team joined North Carolina, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Virginia and South Carolina in leaving the SoCon for the newly formed Atlantic Coast Conference; that season was the finest the Terrapins had experienced to date, finishing with a 23–7 record and a conference mark good enough for second in the league.
Maryland experienced its first games as a ranked team, spending the final nine weeks of the season ranked in the AP Top 20, peaking at #11 before settling for a final ranking of #20. It featured the school's first win over a ranked team when it beat local rival George Washington, then-number 7 in the country; the team was led by its second All-American, Gene Shue, honored in both that season and the prior year. After that season, the team remained the only school outside of the North Carolina "Big Four" – Duke, UNC, North Carolina State, Wake Forest – to field competitive teams. In the ACC's second year, the Terps cracked the top ten for the first time, peaking at #6 in January before finishing the season with a disappointing one-point loss to Virginia in the ACC Tournament quarterfinal round; the Terps had another breakout season during the 1957–58 season. After a good regular season, Maryland stunned the league by winning the ACC Tournament, including wins over #6 Duke and #13 North Carolina on back to back days to capture the title as well as the league's berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The team routed Boston College 86–63 at Madison Square Garden with just two days of rest after the ACC Tournament, advancing to the East Regionals in Charlott
Leonard J. "Len" Elmore is an American sportscaster and former National Basketball Association player. Elmore has served as a college basketball analyst for ESPN and Fox Sports and has served in the same capacity for CBS Sports' coverage of the NCAA Tournament and NBA, he attended Power Memorial Academy in New York City, leading its basketball team to the City championship and the "Number 1 Team in the Nation" in 1970. He graduated from the University of Maryland College Park in 1974 where he was a three-time All-ACC player and an All-American in 1974, he is still Maryland's all-time leading rebounder, in rebounding average. In 2002, Elmore was selected to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team, honoring him as one of the 50 greatest players in ACC history. Elmore is a ten-year veteran of the NBA having played for the Indiana Pacers, Kansas City Kings, Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, he played two seasons with the Pacers when they were in the ABA. In 1990, Elmore served as the color commentator for CBS' number-two NBA broadcasting team, calling much of the Western Conference Playoff action alongside play-by-play man Verne Lundquist.
In 1992, Elmore alongside Lundquist, called the legendary East Regional Final between Duke and Kentucky, which ended with Duke's Christian Laettner's game winning shot. Elmore posted on his Twitter account that he was one of over 100 employees at ESPN that were laid off in April 2017. Elmore received a J. D. from Harvard Law School in 1987 and began his law career as a prosecutor, serving as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York. Aside from his announcing duties, Elmore previously served as Senior Counsel with LeBoeuf, Greene & MacRae in New York City, where he resides, is the president of the National Basketball Retired Players Association, he is a member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. Elmore teaches Seminar in Sports Media and Athlete Activism and Social Justice in Columbia University's Master of Science Program in Sports Management. NBA: Len Elmore player stats Basketball Reference Len Elmore on IMDb Len Elmore ESPN Bio Len Elmore Columbia University Faculty Bio
Tom Loren Burleson is an American former professional basketball player. A 7′2″ center, Burleson played for North Carolina State University's 1974 NCAA national championship team; as a collegian, Burleson teamed with All-American David Thompson, guard Monte Towe and forward Tim Stoddard to dethrone UCLA and win the 1974 NCAA Championship. Burleson was the MVP of the 1973 and 1974 ACC Tournaments and was All-Final Four in 1974. Burleson's defense of UCLA superstar Bill Walton was key to the Wolfpack's semifinal win, he was a member of the 1973 World University Games Gold Medal basketball team. When Burleson was recruited he was measured at 7 ft 2 in tall, but the coaching staff at North Carolina State decided to list him at 7 ft 4 in. Burleson wanted to be listed at his actual height but the coaching staff said he would be the tallest player in American basketball and it would bring a lot of good exposure to him and the school. Burleson was a member of the 1972 U. S. Olympic Basketball Team that lost a controversial gold medal game to the Soviet Union.
The entire 1972 Olympic Basketball team believed they had been cheated and voted unanimously to not accept the silver. Drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics as the third overall player in the 1974 NBA Draft, Burleson entered the league tied with Artis Gilmore and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the tallest active NBA player at 7 feet 2 inches. Named to the 1974–75 NBA All-Rookie Team. Playing under coach Bill Russell, Burleson recorded strong playoff performances in both 1975 and 1976 for Seattle. For his playoff career, Burleson averaged 20.7 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.7 blocks per game in 15 career playoff games. His second season as a professional proved to be his best, as he averaged 15.6 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.8 blocks per game. Just as he began to come into his own in the NBA, he was injured breaking up a fight between his teammate and an opposing team member; the injury was instrumental in his steady decline over the next several years. Burleson was known throughout his pro career as a good shot blocker.
He played seven seasons in the NBA with the Kansas City Kings and the Atlanta Hawks. He lives in Avery County, North Carolina with his wife Denise, they have three sons: Robert and Quentin. He is an avid supporter of North Carolina State University. In 2002, Burleson was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team honoring the fifty greatest players in Atlantic Coast Conference history. Tommy Burleson at Basketball-Reference.com
Ned Dixon "Dickie" Hemric was an American collegiate and professional basketball player for Wake Forest University and the NBA's Boston Celtics. Hemric played the first two college years at Wake Forest when the school was a member of the Southern Conference; the Atlantic Coast Conference Male Athlete of the Year was created at the start of the 1954 season, he played his last two seasons in the ACC, setting conference records for scoring and rebounding that were untouched for the first 50 years of the conference's existence. He was honored as the second recipient of the ACC Athlete of the Year in 1955. In 2002 Hemric was selected to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team, honoring the fifty greatest players in ACC history. Hemric's ACC scoring record of 2,587 points was untouched from 1956 until it was broken in 2006 by Duke University's J. J. Redick and in 2009 by Tyler Hansbrough of the University of North Carolina. Hemric held the NCAA record for free throws made in a career with 905 for 54 years until it was passed by Hansbrough.
Hemric still holds the Division I record for most free throw attempts in a career. Hemric's ACC record of 1,802 career rebounds may never face a serious challenge - for four decades the nearest runner-up was his contemporary Ronnie Shavlik, now third on the list with 1,567 rebounds from 1954 to 1956. Second is legendary NBA power forward Tim Duncan, who pulled down 1,570 rebounds at Wake Forest from 1994 to 1997. With most of today's elite ACC players leaving for the NBA before completing four seasons, it is difficult to project a scenario in which Hemric's record could be broken. Nationally Hemric is still fifth all-time in Division I career rebounds. Hemric died on August 3, 2017 at his home in North Canton, Ohio nearly four weeks shy of his 84th birthday. List of NCAA Division I men's basketball career free throw scoring leaders List of NCAA Division I men's basketball career rebounding leaders List of NCAA Division I men's basketball players with 2000 points and 1000 rebounds
South Carolina Gamecocks men's basketball
The South Carolina Gamecocks men's basketball team represents the University of South Carolina and competes in the Southeastern Conference. The Gamecocks won Southern Conference titles in 1927, 1933, 1934, 1945, they gained national attention under hall of fame coach Frank McGuire, posting a 205–65 record from 1967–1976, which included the 1970 Atlantic Coast Conference championship, the 1971 ACC Tournament title, four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 1971–1974; the program won the 1997 SEC championship, National Invitation Tournament titles in 2005 and 2006, a share of the 2009 SEC Eastern division title. Most the Gamecocks won the 2017 NCAA East Regional Championship, reaching the Final Four for the first time in school history. Frank Martin is the current head coach, the team plays at the 18,000-seat Colonial Life Arena. South Carolina achieved a measure of regional prominence during its tenure in the Southern Conference, winning regular season championships in 1927, 1933, 1934, 1945.
The program won the conference's tournament championship in 1933. During World War II, the basketball team's success was attributed to being assigned outstanding athletes by the U. S. Navy as part of the V-12 program. However, the Navy leaders kept the teams focus towards the war effort, USC declined an invitation to the Southern Conference Tournament in 1944; the hiring of Frank McGuire before the 1964–65 season propelled South Carolina to its most successful period to date. McGuire's 16-year tenure was highlighted by an undefeated ACC regular season in 1970, an ACC Tournament championship in 1971, three consecutive Sweet 16 appearances from 1971 to 1973. USC posted a 69–16 overall record from 1968 to 1971, John Roche won consecutive ACC Player of the Year Awards. In November 1968, the Gamecocks began playing at the 12,401 seat Carolina Coliseum, which became known as the "House that Frank Built." The success South Carolina achieved on the court brought resentment and anger from fellow ACC schools those on "Tobacco Road," as the conference members of the state of North Carolina were known.
The hostility of the road crowds, the unfriendly behavior of coaches and athletic directors in the conference, the discrepancies in eligibility standards led McGuire to support South Carolina becoming an Independent before the 1971–72 season. As an Independent, the program declined, the University sought entrance into an athletic conference; this proved problematic because most conferences required schools to have a single athletic director, South Carolina had multiple directors at the time. McGuire served as Athletic Director for the basketball program, he would not relinquish his position; the University made several attempts to obtain McGuire's resignation, but honored his contract through 1980. McGuire finished with a 283–142 overall record at South Carolina and continues to be held in high regard by Gamecock fans, his six consecutive 20-win seasons from 1969 to 1974, which produced a 137–33 record, remain the benchmark for USC Basketball. In 1983, the University became affiliated with the Metro Conference.
The basketball program was placed on probation by the NCAA in the spring of 1987 for two years because of recruiting violations and the sale of complimentary player tickets. From 1987 to 1991, George Felton led the Gamecocks to an 87–62 overall record, which included a 1989 NCAA Tournament appearance and a 1991 NIT berth. For three of Felton's five seasons, Tubby Smith served as an assistant coach before leaving to join Rick Pitino's staff at Kentucky. South Carolina joined the SEC before the 1992 season and struggled, posting a combined 20–35 record in 1992 and 1993. Eddie Fogler was hired away from Vanderbilt before the 1994 season and within a few years returned the Gamecocks to respectability. Under Fogler, South Carolina posted an impressive 66–28 record during the 1996–1998 stretch, which included the school's first SEC championship in 1997; the 1997 Gamecocks posted a 15–1 record in SEC play and defeated league rival Kentucky twice, but lost in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. Fogler stepped down after the 2001 campaign, going 123–117 in eight seasons as the Gamecocks' head coach.
His tenure included two NIT appearances. Fogler retired as one of the most successful head coaches in SEC Basketball history, having won regular season conference championships at both Vanderbilt and South Carolina. Subsequent coach Dave Odom posted four 20-win seasons during his tenure at South Carolina, he led the Gamecocks to an appearance in the 2004 NCAA Tournament and consecutive NIT championships in 2005 and 2006. Odom's tenure saw USC begin play at the 18,000 seat Colonial Life Arena during the 2002–2003 season. Following the 2007–2008 campaign, Odom resigned with a 128–104 overall record at USC. On April 1, 2008, Darrin Horn was named the new head basketball coach at USC. In his first season, Horn led the Gamecocks to a 21–10 record, two victories over Kentucky, a share of the 2009 SEC Eastern Division title. After a 10–21 campaign in 2011–12, his third straight losing season, Horn was fired on March 13, 2012, finishing his tenure at Carolina with a 60–63 overall record and a 23–45 mark in the SEC.
Frank Martin came to USC from Kansas State, where he had enjoyed five winning seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances, including an Elite Eight appearance with the Wildcats in 2010. After losing records in his first two seasons with the Gamecocks, he achieved a winning season in 2015 reached the NIT in 2016, broke through into the 2017 NCAA Tournament, the program's first appearance in the eve