Widely considered to be the best high school basketball player to ever come through Salina, Nino Samuel has numbers that make it hard to argue against that statement. Over three seasons in the maroon and white, Samuel's career totals were 23.3 points and 15.2 rebounds a game.

Samuel moved to Salina in December 1969 and joined the team as a sophomore. He played in 16 games in the 1969-70 season, averaging 12.8 points and 11.1 rebounds a game to help Salina High win the Central Kansas League title for the first time since the mid-1950s.

A year later, in its first year as Salina Central High School, Samuel was a key player in the Mustangs run to the 1971 Class 4A state title. His scoring average improved to 23.5 points a game, he was named most valuable player of the 4A state tournament and was selected Kansas Player of the Year.

By now every opponent knew of Samuel's talents, but could do little to stop him. As a senior his scoring average soared to 31.1 points a game and he was again named Player of the Year in Kansas. In perhaps his most impressive performance, he scored 54 points and had 18 rebounds in a five-point semifinal win over Garden City at the McPherson Invitational. The Mustangs returned to the state tourney for the third consecutive year, but were eliminated in the opening round, where Samuel had 14 points and 19 rebounds in his final game.

After high school, Samuel played for the University of Kansas and Marymount College. He later played professionally for Athletes in Action, the Las Vegas Dealers and for a team in the Philippines.