- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 21, 2002

From combined dispatches
SAN JOSE, Calif. Oklahoma basketball coach Kelvin Sampson's 72-year-old father had emergency brain surgery after falling ill during the Sooners' practice Tuesday.
John W. Sampson, known as Ned, had surgery for a subdural hematoma, or blood collecting on the brain, at about midnight, team physician Brock Schnebel said yesterday.
"My father, growing up, he was a high school basketball coach …" Kelvin Sampson said before breaking down in tears.
"I'm sorry," he said, covering his eyes with his hand.
Several moments passed before he continued.
"Your experiences shape who you are. He's a worker. He was tough. The adversity that you were raised in shapes you as you get older," he said, his eyes red with tears. "I've always appreciated that."
Sampson was not specific about his father's condition.
"I was with him obviously all night and this morning," Sampson said as the second-seeded Sooners prepared to face third-seeded Arizona tonight in the NCAA West Region at Compaq Center.
Ned Sampson launched his son's career, coaching him at Pembroke High School in North Carolina. The younger Sampson has taken Oklahoma to the NCAA tournament every season since he became coach eight years ago. He was named Coach of the Year in 1995.
Schnebel said he noticed that Ned Sampson was walking strangely at the Sooners' practice Tuesday at nearby San Jose City College.
"He's a tough guy like his son," Schnebel said. "He said it was nothing, but I said I thought we should probably get it taken care of."
The surgical procedure to drain blood from his brain took about an hour, Schnebel said.
The elder Sampson, who had a stroke 20 years ago, was speaking but not yet walking, and a full recovery was expected, Schnebel said.

Who to root for?
LEXINGTON, Ky. Duke got more than its share of boos when it took the court at Rupp Arena for practice.
Kentucky fans have loathed the Blue Devils ever since Christian Laettner's game-winning shot knocked the Wildcats out of the NCAA tournament in the 1992 East Region final.
Duke's 104-103 overtime win is considered by many to be the best game in tournament history. The Blue Devils also beat Kentucky 95-92 in overtime this season.
A few dozen Duke fans stood up and cheered when the Blue Devils hit the court, but most in the crowd, many wearing Kentucky hats and T-shirts, booed loudly.
"We're for Indiana," yelled one fan.
"It's going to be an environment, beside our families behind our bench, where everybody else is going to want to see us lose," Duke forward Mike Dunleavy said of the semifinal matchup with Indiana tonight. "I think people are getting tired of Duke."
The Hoosiers aren't exactly liked in this part of Kentucky either. In fact, Indiana coach Mike Davis was quoted earlier in the season as saying he hated Kentucky.
Davis backpedaled yesterday.
"I apologize if I've ever said anything to offend any Kentucky fans. I even let my little boy wear blue sometimes," Davis said. "I am hoping they cheer for us. We need all the help we can get."

Daily dose of Wizard
SAN JOSE, Calif. Bill Walton wasn't the only influence on son Luke Walton's game. Every day at lunch, the younger Walton got a dose of John Wooden, too.
"My dad used to write John Wooden quotes on all of our lunch bags every day," Luke Walton said as his Arizona Wildcats prepared to play Oklahoma in their NCAA West Region game.
Some of it obviously rubbed off. The 6-foot-8 Luke Walton, a junior forward, is averaging 15.9 points and 7.3 rebounds.
It could get a little confusing for the Waltons if third-seeded Arizona (24-9) beats second-seeded Oklahoma (29-4), and No. 8 UCLA (21-11) beats No. 12 Missouri (23-11).
"He won't wear an Arizona T-shirt when we play UCLA," Luke Walton said.
"He tells me he's rooting for me because I'm his son, but I'm sure he tells his buddies something different."


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