Sam Lacey was a marquee basketball player with New Mexico State and played a big role in their winning the 1970 NCAA Midwest Regional by defeating Drake University. However, Lacey and his teammates lost in the 1970 NCAA Final Four to powerhouse UCLA, led by a cast including All-American Sidney Wicks, hot-shooting John Valley and Curtis Rowe.
The No 5 player selected in the 1970 National Basketball Association draft (NBA), Sam Lacey was an instant success with the Cincinnati Royals. As a rookie in 1970-1971 he recorded his first of six consecutive seasons of double figures in points and rebounds per game - 13.5 ppg and 11.3 in 1970-71. In 1974-1975 the 6-ft 10-inch Sam Lacey led the NBA in defensive rebounds with 921.
Although he had the misfortune of playing mainly with teams with lossing records, Sam Lacey did play in four postseason NBA playoffs. He notched 274 points and 287 rebounds in 29 playoff games.
Sam Lacey career stats - 10303 points in 1002 games, 4276 FGM, 9693 FGA, a .441 percentage, 1748 FTM, 2369 FGA, a .738 pct, 9687 rebounds, 3754 assists, 3754 PF, 999 steals, 1160 blocked shots, 10.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 3.7 assists pg.