Many NC State fans are well versed in the history of the University and it’s basketball program. On the other hand, there are also a large number of fans that have never heard all the stories or know all the players who helped build the storied history of NC State. Throughout the off-season we will be highlighting each and every player that had a big enough impact to have their jersey hung in the rafters of the RBC Center. Previously we debuted “Jerseys In The Rafters” with Dick Dickey. Up next: Sammy Ranzino.
Much has been said about the historical pipeline that NC State has developed with the state of Indiana throughout the years. It all began when Indiana native Everett Case came down to Raleigh to coach the Pack. Case started the Indiana recruiting pipeline when he reeled in Dick Dickey in ’47 and he solidified his ability to recruit his home-state when he snared Sammy Ranzino one year later.
Ranzino was 6-2 Forward out of Gary, Indiana. His career at NC State was one for the record books…literally. Ranzino’s accolades place him at a table that only a few players in NC State basketball history are fit to sit at. Sammy is one of only 3 players in the history of Wolfpack Basketball to earn All-American honors 3 times (David Thompson and Dick Dickey). He did what even few great players have done, leading his team to four conference championships (Southern Conference) in four years. Sammy’s Senior campaign caught the attention of nation, earning consensus All-American honors. The Rochester Royals were impressed with his 20.8 points per game that year and took him with the 8th overall pick in the 1951 NBA draft. Ranzino left NC State as the All-Time leading scorer with 1,967 career points, and this was a record that he would hold onto for 24 years, until David Thompson came along and put up 2,309 in a short three-year span. Ranzino currently ranks as the 4th All-Time leading scorer in Pack history. He was posthumously honored on February 22, 1999, when his jersey was raised to the rafters in what was a memorable night in Reynolds Coliseum.