PUHSD Students Receive Visit From NBA Hall of Famers

Posted by Community Relations Department on 10/3/2012

North High students received the long and short of NBA Hall of Famers when 7-foot 4-inch Ralph Sampson and 5-foot 9-inch Calvin Murphy visited the school for a Stay in School Assembly, September 21.  The two joined former Suns player and current announcer Tim Kempton to deliver their messages of perseverance, self-esteem, motivation, attitude and determination, and the importance of a college education.  The Hall of Famers were in town for a Jerry Colangelo Hall of Fame Golf Classic, and through the help of the First Impressions Foundation of Peoria, several Hall of Famers made visits to schools in Peoria and Phoenix Union.  North packed the football field with the largest assembly of the day, complete with JROTC color guard, Mustang Band and cheerleaders.  The school also invited seniors from nearby Franklin Police and Fire High School.

Phoenix Union schools Carl Hayden and Betty Fairfax held assemblies simultaneously.  The Harlem Globetrotters’ Meadowlark Lemon and former Suns player Eddie Johnson visited Hayden, while Laker Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor and Ann Meyers-Drysdale went to Fairfax. 


After the large assembly, 400 seniors converged on the gymnasium for a college expo, to discuss college and career opportunities with representatives from several local institutions.  Many of the students won prizes during the event.  One student won a suit from First Impressions, and others won electronic devices and video games, and a paid admission fee to the college of their choice.

Sampson, newly inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., dominated college basketball from 1980-84, earning  First Team All-American and Player of the Year three years in a row while playing for the University of Virginia.  He was drafted by the Houston Rockets, won Rookie of the Year in 1984 and helped lead the Rockets to the NBA Finals in 1986.  Injuries cut short his career.

Murphy, a lightening quick guard, flourished in 13 pro seasons with the San Diego and Houston Rockets from 1970-1983.  He was automatic from the free-throw line, once making 78 consecutively.  He scored over 1,000 points in 11 straight seasons.  During a college career at Niagara, The All-American averaged over 33 points a game.  He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.