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22 Larry Stamper

Larry Stamper
Hometown (Last School)
Beattyville, KY (Lee County)
1970-71, 1971-72, 1972-73
January 6, 1950

Larry Stamper was born on January 6, 1950, in Clay County, Kentucky to Edward Stamper and Lillie Roberts Stamper.  Stamper, a jovial 6-foot-6 basketball player, will always be remembered as one of the toughest, most physical players to play for the Wildcats during his three-year career from 1970-72.  He was a defensive stopper and rebounding specialist who started along Jim Andrews and Tom Parker on the front line on Adolph Rupp’s final Kentucky team.

Stamper did not play organized basketball until the eighth grade at Lee County.  Lee County’s coach, Heber Dunaway, spotted a “big ol’ boy” walking along in the Beattyville school and Stamper took up the game at Dunaway’s urging.  Stamper was cut from the team as quickly as he tried out.  Coach Dunaway had a rule that required burr haircuts and Stamper showed up without a haircut.  Dunaway cut him from the team and Stamper watched from the stands for a semester until he decided it was worth facing a barber’s clippers.  Two and a half years later, in 1968, Stamper was voted as the state’s best player, along with Thomas Payne, after leading Lee County to a 34-4 record, the 14th Region championship, and the school’s very first trip to the state tournament.  He scored 30 points and had 19 rebounds in a win over Clark County to take his team to the state tournament semi-finals.  Stamper led Lee County to a 13-3 record his senior year before becoming ineligible because of age.  He turned 19 on January 6, 1969, and a new KHSAA rule had been implemented that year making student-athletes 19 years old or older ineligible to play.  Despite this, he was still named the 14th Region’s best player, for the second year in a row, and was named first-team all-state.

On March 16, 1969, Stamper, with coach Adolph Rupp in attendance, signed a national letter of intent to play for Kentucky.  Jim Andrews was the other noteworthy signee in that class.

As a freshman at Kentucky, Stamper was the second leading scorer (15.2) and rebounder (12.0) for the Kittens.  He scored a season-high 26 points on February 14, 1970, in a 91-78 win over Florida’s freshman squad.

As a sophomore, Stamper played 212 minutes in 20 games.  He started 4 of those games.  Stamper averaged 3.6 points and 2.8 rebounds.  He started for injured Larry Steele in the pressure-packed TV game at Indiana and came through with 12 rebounds and an outstanding defensive job on the heralded George McGinnis.

His junior year was his most successful as a Wildcat.  Stamper played and started all 28 games averaging 35 minutes per game.  He scored 288 points on the season for a 10.3 per game average.  He also averaged 10.2 rebounds per game. Stamper made the fewest turnovers on the team and had career-high games in points with 20 against Florida and in rebounds with 18 against Mississippi.  Stamper, who brought his meanness and toughness with him from Beattyville, unveiled a lightning, short-range right against Vandy on January 24, 1972, at Lexington when he suddenly decked Vandy guard Jan Van Breda Kolff.  “Got tired of him pushing me around,” explained the quick-tempered mountaineer.  At season’s end, he was awarded the Kiwanis 110% Effort Award.

As a senior, Stamper started the season off very slowly in the scoring department.  On December 9, 1972, against Indiana, he suffered an ankle injury that made him limp grotesquely off the court in Bloomington.  Playing in pain, Stamper returned to action to do a credible job of defending Indiana’s Steve Downing but the ankle swelled like a balloon and Stamper missed the next three games.  The injury was a huge setback.  Coach Joe B. Hall said Stamper was playing because of his rebounding but insisted that he would need scoring from Stamper.  That never materialized and as a result, Stamper, who was typically the first forward to sub in off the bench, lost that job.  Stamper played in 26 games starting seven.  He averaged 3 points per game.  His greatest asset was as a rugged battler on the boards, where he pulled down 4.5 per game.  He did have one signature moment in his final year.  In what became Joe B. Hall’s first NCAA Tournament win as head coach, Stamper scored the final six points in a 106-100 overtime victory over Fly Williams and Austin Peay

Over three seasons, he played a total of 74 games, scoring 437 points and securing 408 rebounds. He had a field goal percentage of 41.79% and a free throw percentage of 63.13%.  “Going to the state tournament and stuff is a heck of a feather in your cap,” Stamper said.  “Not many get to do it.  But even less get to play at UK.  That’s what I’m most proud of.”

On July 14, 1973, Stamper married Royetta Elaine Rowland, of Ezel, Kentucky, at the Ezel Presbyterian Church.

Stamper is a retired school teacher living in Winchester with his wife and likes to spend his time either hunting, fishing or playing golf.

College Statistics:

Per Game

1970-71 20 10.6 1.6 3.3 .477 0.5 0.8 .563 2.8 1.1 3.6
1971-72 28 35.3 3.7 8.8 .424 2.9 4.5 .635 10.2 1.4 3.1 10.3
1972-73 26 15.3 1.3 3.5 .359 0.5 0.7 .667 4.5 0.5 1.2 3.0
Career 74 21.6 2.3 5.4 .418 1.4 2.2 .631 6.2 1.9 5.9



1970-71 20 212 31 65 .477 9 16 .563 55 22 71
1971-72 28 987 104 245 .424 80 126 .635 286 38 86 288
1972-73 26 398 33 92 .359 12 18 .667 117 13 31 78


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