Athlete, Pre 1970
Sam D. Knight, Sr. was born in Pensacola, Florida on October 25, 1942. He was an All-City First Team Basketball Player in Cleveland, Ohio where he graduated from John Adams High School in 1961.
After his graduation, Knight was recruited by Coach Jerry Tarkanian to play basketball for Riverside City College. During the two years that Knight played for RCC, the team went to the State Championships both years. In 1963-64, Sam helped the team to a 35-0 record, crowning their season with the California State Championship, ushering in an era of unequaled basketball success at RCC. That year, Knight was named as the “Most Inspirational” player. Knight went on to graduate from the University of Laverne with a BS in Public Administration and a minor in Criminal Justice, and successfully completed the Managing in a Changing Environment Program at UCLA.
For thirty-three years, Knight worked as a counselor for the California School for the Deaf and was a key administrator at the Herman G. Stark Youth Authority Facility in Chino. He served on the Jurupa Unified School District Board from 1993-2006. He has been involved in Ministry for the Homeless at Fairmount Park, Singing Ministry at Plymouth Towers, and Director of Education and Vacation Bible School at Church of Christ in Riverside. Knight’s education and life experiences have kept him actively involved in Riverside community affairs. He has been a positive influence in the lives of countless young men throughout his life.
It was at RCC where Sam met his wife, Blanche. They have been married for 47 years and are extremely proud of their talented family. Their five children – Tina, Ryan, Sammy, Darryl and Greg – all have completed their college education. Tina works in the field of education and all four sons have received football scholarships to Division I programs. The core values that Sam and Blanch emphasized in the home were, “God first, family and then community.” They still make Riverside their home.