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Sam Shepherd (basketball)

Sam Shepherd (born 21 April 1953), also known as El Mago, is a Venezuelan former basketball player who competed in the 1992 Summer Olympics.[1]

Basketball career

He attended Delaware State University, and played basketball for the Hornets, as a member of which he toured with the league all-star team in Venezuela. He graduated in 1975, and after unsuccessful tryouts for NBA, CBA, and ABA teams, decided to go back to Venezuela to try his luck.[2] There, he played on various teams in the Liga Profesional de Baloncesto, including Trotamundos de Carabobo, Panteras de Miranda, and Guaiqueríes de Margarita.[3] His rise to fame there earned him the nickname "El Mago". In order to qualify to join the Venezuelan national basketball team, he naturalised as a Venezuelan citizen in 1986 and gave up his U.S. citizenship.[2] He represented his new country at the Copa Sprite in 1990, and later led the national team to a silver medal at the 1992 Tournament of the Americas.[4][5]

Personal life

He grew up in North Carolina. He has a daughter Gwendolyn, who attended Temple University in Philadelphia,[2] and a son Sam Jr., born in 1991, who inherited his father's love of basketball and tried out for the Toros de Aragua in September 2013.[6]


  1. ^ "Sam Shepherd bio, stats, and results".  
  2. ^ a b c Pucin, Diane (1992-07-03). "Venezuelans Bring Some Of Their Own Magic To The Fray". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  3. ^ "Greivis compartió con Sam Shepherd y The Wailers". Lider en Deportes. 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  4. ^ Araujo, Fernando (1990-09-13). "Comienza la Copa Sprite". Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  5. ^ Richardson, Steve (1992-07-05). "Former American leads Venezuela against U.S.". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  6. ^ "Conociendo a Sam Shepherd, Jr.". Se Habla Basket. 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
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