Sam Lacey

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Sam Lacey
Sam Lacey 1971.JPG
Lacey in 1971
Personal information
Born (1948-03-08)March 8, 1948
Indianola, Mississippi
Died March 14, 2014(2014-03-14) (aged 66)
Kansas City, Missouri
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight 235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school Gentry (Indianola, Mississippi)
College New Mexico State (1967–1970)
NBA draft 1970 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th overall
Selected by the Cincinnati Royals
Playing career 1970–1983
Position Center
Number 44, 40, 52
Career history
19701981 Cincinnati Royals / Kansas City-Omaha Kings
1981–1982 New Jersey Nets
1982–1983 Cleveland Cavaliers
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 10,303 (10.3 ppg)
Rebounds 9,687 (9.7 rpg)
Blocks 1,160 (1.5 bpg)
Stats at

Samuel "Sam" Lacey (March 8, 1948 – March 14, 2014) was an American basketball player.

Early life[edit]

Lacey grew up in Indianola, Mississippi and played basketball at Gentry High School.

College career[edit]

Lacey was a 6'10" center who played college basketball at New Mexico State University.[1] The Aggies had a combined record of 74–14 during his three seasons there. In the 1969–70 post-season, he and star guard Jimmy Collins led the Aggies to their first and only Final Four appearance. The Aggies defeated Rice University, Kansas State University and Drake University before falling to eventual national champion UCLA. However, the Aggies won the third-place game over St. Bonaventure to finish 27–3. Lacey earned first-team All-American honors from Basketball News.[2]

In 2007–08, Lacey was among the first inductees into the Aggies Ring of Honor. As of 2014, Lacey still holds many New Mexico State rebounding records for both single seasons and career.[3]

NBA career[edit]

Lacey was drafted in the first round (fifth overall) of the 1970 NBA draft by the Cincinnati Royals. He played 13 seasons (1970–1983) in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Royals, Kansas City Kings, New Jersey Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers. He averaged over 10 rebounds per game in his first six seasons, and was the NBA's third leading rebounder in the 1974–75 season. Lacey's most productive NBA season came in 1973–74 when he averaged 14.2 points and 13.4 rebounds per game. He was named an All-Star in 1975, and finished the season averaging 11.5 points, 14.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game.[4]

Lacey is one of only five NBA players (along with Hakeem Olajuwon, Julius Erving, David Robinson and Ben Wallace) to have registered 100 blocks and 100 steals in six consecutive seasons.[5] His #44 jersey was retired by the Sacramento Kings. He is also one of three NBA players (along with Wes Unseld and Reggie Evans) to total at least 30 rebounds and fewer than 10 points in the first two games of the season.[6]

When Lacey retired in 1983, he had accumulated 9,687 rebounds and a total of 10,303 points.[4] As of 2014, Lacey ranks 40th overall for total rebounds in NBA history.[7]


Lacey died in his home in Kansas City, Missouri on March 14, 2014, at the age of 66, six days after his 66th birthday.[8]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]