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Changing the Game: Ralph Sampson, CEO and Founder of The Sampson Group, on Zach Edey's Impact in College Basketball




Ralph Sampson on Zach Edey nearing rare feat: 'It's only three of us in the fraternity.

In a compelling Big Ten basketball showdown, Illinois, ranked 10th nationally, faced a challenging match against an unranked Michigan State, ultimately losing 88-80 despite a strong start. This game underscored the intense competition within the league, which is notably dominated by Purdue, thanks in large part to the extraordinary performance of Zach Edey. Standing at 7-foot-4 and weighing 300 pounds, Edey has been a dominant force in college basketball, leading to speculation that he could become one of the few players to win the Naismith Men's College Player of the Year award multiple times. His impressive stats, averaging 22.3 points and 12.9 rebounds last season and 24.1 points and 11.7 rebounds this season, have set him apart as a potential repeat winner, joining the ranks of basketball legends like Bill Walton and Ralph Sampson.



Sampson, who also won the award multiple times and shares a similar height with Edey, shared his insights on the significance of the award, his development as a player, and the evolution of the role of big men in basketball. Despite the challenges and physical toll of the game, including aggressive defenses and the physicality under the basket, both Sampson and Edey exemplify the impact and evolution of big men in the sport. Their experiences highlight the changing dynamics of basketball, the strategic approaches to countering such dominant players, and the enduring significance of achieving excellence at the highest levels of college basketball.


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