Bigelow, Scott. “Kelvin Sampson comes home to Pembroke.” University Newswire (University of North Carolina at Pembroke) April 29, 2003. Reprinted in: Carolina Indian Voice May 1, 2003, p. 1.
Kelvin Sampson, a 1978 UNC-P graduate who has worked as a collegiate men's basketball head coach for 26 years, spoke on April 28 as part of UNC-P's Distinguished Speaker Series. Sampson is currently head coach at Oklahoma University; his team has won three successive Big 12 Conference tournaments and has been invited to the NCAA Tournament every year.Sampson's messages to the audience of over 500 involved finding people who inspire you (heroes) and, at the same time, striving to inspire someone else; realizing that failure is the first step on the ladder to success, and being mature enough to handle adversity without blaming others; and, as an individual, exhibiting unselfishness, commitment, and teamwork.Sampson objects to his highly successful teams being called overachievers. He stated, “I don’t like the word ‘overachieve.’ Don't ever tell me my teams overachieve. If you're successful, you’ll live up to your ability level.”In offering advice to young people, he stated: “Kids will tell you it’s tough for them. You can be anything you want, but you can’t be afraid to fail. Ordinary people do extraordinary things.”