Sept. 17, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Former Seminole men’s basketball great Sam Cassell was inducted into the Florida State Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 17, 2004 in a ceremony held in the Tom and Ginny Futch Ballroom at the University Center. He was inducted alongside football greats Peter Boulware and Andre Wadsworth, swimmer Brandon Dedekind and track and field star Holly Kelly-Thompson. The group was feted along with many of the current members of the Hall of Fame in front of an overflow crowd on the eve of The Seminoles’ home-opening football game against UAB.
Cassell, the Baltimore, Md., native became the 17th Seminole men’s basketball player to be honored as a member of the Hall of Fame.
“This is a big day,” said Cassell. “When your school honors you and puts you in its hall of fame it doesn’t get any bigger than that. I am going to enjoy this because it is a big occasion.”
Cassell transferred to Florida State from San Jacinto (Tex.) Junior College in 1992 and didn’t waste time in making an immediate positive impact on the program. He helped lead the Seminoles to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament during his first season.
The 1993 season brought more honors for Cassell as a senior. He averaged 18.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and shot 50.2 % from the floor. He set Florida State single season record with 97 steals. Cassell and fellow Hall of Fame member Bob Sura (inducted in 2003) gave the Seminoles the nation’s top scoring and rebounding backcourt and led the Seminoles to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
“When I first got here, when I signed with Florida State, people said I was going to a football school,” remembered Cassell. “My reply was that it was a football school going into a basketball conference. It was a great marriage between us. We had a great team. No one expected us to as well as we did that early. When I visited here and saw the talent they had before I got her – Doug (Edwards), Chuck (Graham) and Rodney (Dobard) – they just need one small ingredient and that was me.”
The Houston Rockets selected Cassell with the 24th pick of the 1993 NBA Draft. He made another positive impact in Houston just as he did at Florida State. Cassell became the first rookie point guard to start for the Rockets since 1980 season, played in the inaugural Rookie Game at the NBA All-Star Weekend, and helped the Rockets win back-to-back NBA Championships in his first two seasons in the league.
An NBA All-Star in and an All-NBA Second Team selection in 2004, Cassell helped the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Western Conference Finals as a number one seed. He is a career 85.8% free throw shooter and averages 16.6 points and 6.3 assists per game during his NBA career.