Ralph Sampson has a list of credits as tall as his 7’4” frame, if not taller. They include three-time ACC Player of the Year, NBA Rookie of the Year, 4-time All-Star, and NBA All-Star Game MVP (1985) to name a few.
When one is good enough to be on the Sports Illustrated cover 6 times (not to mention how tall as he is), it might be difficult to blend into the background, but that is exactly what Sampson has done, giving rise to the question, where is Ralph Sampson now? Last we heard, he was on the Abdul-Jabbar vs. Ralph Sampson Celebrity Family Feud episode (June 24, 2017). To find out more about this reluctant celebrity, dig into our Ralph Sampson wiki for information on Ralph Sampson’s stats and his legacy in the NBA.
Ralph Sampson College, School, and Early days
Ralph Sampson was born on July 7, 1960. By the time he was in the ninth grade, Ralph Sampson’s height was already 6’ 7” and by the time he left high school, he was walking tall at 7’1”. Thanks to Sampson, his school won the state AA basketball championships in 1978 and 1979, and he soon became one of the most talked-about college and professional basketball prospects of his generation. “Other than Wilt Chamberlain, I’ve never seen a 7-footer, even to this day, do the things that Ralph did athletically,” said Jeff Jones, one of Sampson’s teammates in Virginia. Just to get an idea of the height of this man, check out this picture! It’s wild!
He led the University of Virginia to the 1980 NIT title, a Final Four appearance in the 1981 NCAA, and an Elite Eight appearance in the 1981 NCAA. He is only one of two people to have won the National Player of The Year three times at the Naismith Awards. He’s also the only male player to pick up two Wooden Awards.
Ralph Sampson NBA
A first pick by Houston Rockets in the 1983 NBA draft, Ralph Sampson lived up to his promise as he averaged 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds as a rookie, played in the All-Star Game that year, and won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
In 1984, Sampson was moved position and began to play as a “forward.” A move that some predicted would propel Sampson into ‘elites’ of the game.
In the 1985 NBA All-Star Game, Sampson walked away with the Most Valuable Player award. In the same year, Sampson became the first player in NBA history to record 30 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals in one game.
In 1986, in the fifth game of a five-game series against the Lakers (a team that included, Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson), Sampson orchestrated one of the most memorable wins in NBA Playoff history, when he broke a 112-112 tie with a jumper that sailed through the hoop at the buzzer.
A lot more was expected from a player once predicted to be NBA’s greatest player, but a string of injuries beginning in the 1986-1987 season ensured that Sampson would miss many of the games he was scheduled to play. After playing 10 seasons in the NBA, Sampson bowed out in 1993 and hung up his professional basketball shoes for good in 1994.
Ralph Sampson Wife
When he was 26 years old, Ralph Samson married Aleize R Dial. The couple had four children (though Ralph Sampson is rumored to have children from 4 other women). The marriage ended in 2003, apparently after withstanding 17 tumultuous years. But though the marriage ended, Sampson’s troubles continued as his wife and the other women slapped child support cases against him. Things are better now. “Everything is settled. All my kids that I have are in great places,” he says. Today, he seems to be doing alright for himself, and with Ralph Sampson’s net worth of $6.0 million, there’s no doubt he’s enjoying his retirement.
Ralph Sampson Hall of Fame
Check out this list of some of Ralph Sampson’s greatest achievements:
Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, 1996
50 best players named to the ACC 50th Anniversary Men’s Basketball team.
National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, 2011
Member of the 80’s Decade Team for the Houston Rockets.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, 2012