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Samuel Paul "Sam" Bowie (born March 17, 1961) is a retired American basketball player. A national sensation in high school and outstanding collegian, Bowie's professional promise was undermined by repeated injuries to his legs and feet. In spite of the setbacks, the 7'1" and 235 lb center played ten seasons in the NBA.
Projected as a solid first rounder in the 1984 NBA Draft, Bowie was chosen by the Portland Trail Blazers as the second selection, ahead of future Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, due to Portland already having drafted Clyde Drexler just a year before.


As a player at Lebanon High School, Bowie was heavily recruited. He averaged over 28 points and 18 rebounds per game, and was a McDonald's All-American and Parade All-American. As a junior, he led his team to the state finals, where they lost by a point to Schenley High School of Pittsburgh. He was named National Player of the Year over another heavily recruited center, Virginia high-schooler Ralph Sampson. However, in a hyped game at the Capital Classic, called "Battle of the Giants" Bowie was outplayed by Sampson. Bowie also participated in the Dapper Dan and Derby Festival Classic.
As a freshman during the 1979a??80 season at the University of Kentucky, Bowie averaged twelve points and eight rebounds per game. At the end of that season, Bowie was picked for the United States Olympic men's basketball team, which eventually boycotted the Moscow Olympics. Bowie's sophomore season saw him average 17.5 points and nine rebounds per game. At the end of the season, he was named a third-team NCAA Basketball All-American by the Associated Press. Also in 1981, he set, and now shares, the Kentucky record for most blocked shots in a game, with nine.
However, Bowie began seeing the first signs of the injury trouble that would plague the remainder of his basketball career. In the third-to-last game of his sophomore season against Vanderbilt, Bowie went up for a dunk but came down off balance. He lan

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Sam Bowie Latest News

The Pose. The Flu Game. The Shrug. Michael Jordan's top 56 moments of his career in honor of his 56th birthday.

With thanks to Clyde Drexler, whose presence in Portland prompted the Trail Blazers to draft Kentucky big man Sam Bowie after the Rockets took Hakeem Olajuwon at No. 1, Bulls general manager Rod Thorn ...
Posted: February 15, 2019, 10:58 am

Sam Bowie reveals that he lied to Portland about feeling leg pain before the infamous 1984 NBA draft

The sad tale of Sam Bowie has been told and re-told many times in the 28 years since the Portland Trail Blazers selected him second overall in the 1984 NBA draft, but for the first time in quite a whi...
Posted: December 12, 2012, 10:35 am

The All-Time NBA Draft: The Best Pick From Every Slot

Also, it’s time to lay off Portland. Sam Bowie wasn’t the biggest “oops” pick of all time. Si Green was picked before Russell in 1956. The easiest pick of them all. Except for Portland in 1984, when t...
Posted: June 20, 2018, 9:18 am
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