MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The University of Minnesota has confirmed that Ralph Sampson III will return to the Gopher men’s basketball program and not enter the NBA Draft.
Sampson III, a forward/center for the Gophers, will start his senior year with career averages of 8.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in 97 career games, that includes 87 career starts.. Sources said he may have to make up some schoolwork but he should be able to gain eligibility to play in the 2011-2012 season.
The 6-foot-11 Sampson is currently fourth on the Gophers all-time blocks list with 166 and he’s just 202 points away from being the 37th player in Gopher history to reach 1,000 career points.
His father, Ralph Sampson, Jr., played nine seasons with the NBA. He was the No. 1 draft pick in the 1983 NBA Draft and went on to become Rookie of the Year for the Houston Rockets and a three-time NBA All-Star.