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Sampson receives Hall call

Ralph Sampson, the most decorated men's basketball player in Virginia history, will cap his stellar college career Nov. 20 when he becomes the first Cavalier inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

Sampson will join the likes of North Carolina standout James Worthy and legendary coach Bob Knight as part of an eight-member class to be inducted at the Midland Theatre in Kansas City.

Listed at 7-foot-4, the towering center simply dominated collegiate competition during his four years at Virginia from 1980 to 1983. Sampson's laundry list of career accolades includes three National Player of the Year awards, three Naismith awards and four All-American selections. He ranks first in program history with 899 field goals, 1,511 rebounds and 462 blocks, as well as fourth in program history with 2,228 points.

Sampson led the Cavaliers to the 1980 NIT Championship and to three subsequent NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Final Four in 1981. Virginia amassed a 112-23 record during Sampson's four seasons and spent 49 weeks ranked no lower than 10th by the Associated Press.

The Houston Rockets took Sampson with the top pick in the 1983 NBA Draft, and the center earned the Rookie of the Year award, three NBA All-Star selections and led the Rockets to the 1986 NBA Finals before injuries derailed an otherwise outstanding basketball career after nine years playing professionally.

-compiled by Matt Welsh