March 17, 1961 - Sam Bowie is born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Happy 57th Birthday Sam Bowie! As a freshman during the 1979–80 season at 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 landed with most of his weight on his left leg, saying that he felt pain but initially tried to play through it. In the offseason, the extent of Bowie's injury was revealed, and he was told he had a stress fracture in his left tibia and would miss the 1981–82 season. Due to his recovery not going the way that Kentucky desired, Bowie sat out the 1982–83 season as well and was forced to use a medical redshirt. He returned in time for the 1983–84 season, where he averaged 10.5 points and nine rebounds per game while being named to the second-team All-American squad. During his senior season, his heroics in a game against rival Louisville earned him a spot on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Bowie, along with fellow "Twin Tower" Melvin Turpin(as the Kentucky front court duo was called), led Kentucky to the SEC championship, a top three national ranking, and a 26-4 season record. The Wildcats advanced to the Final Four in Seattle that year, where they faced off against Patrick Ewing and Georgetown. Although Kentucky led at the half, Georgetown took over in the second half and handily defeated the Wildcats, ending Bowie's college career without a NCAA championship.
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