John Samis came to Vancouver with his family as a small child and began his badminton career at age eleven as a junior with the Vancouver Lawn Tennis and Badminton Club. In his first year of play he won the trophy for “Most Improved player” and four years later won the club’s senior tournament at age fifteen, a record that still stands today.

Samis won seven Vancouver City singles titles, the first at age seventeen in 1937 and the seventh in 1948. He captured seven BC singles championships in 1938-42 and 1947-48. He won three BC doubles championships in 1938, 1939, and 1942, each time with a different partner: Samis and Underhill, Samis and Birch, and Samis and Strachan respectively.

At the National level, he won three Canadian singles championships in 1938, 1947, and 1949. He won the Canadian doubles championship in 1947 with partner Jack Underhill, a fellow BC Sports Hall of Famer.

Samis toured through the US in 1940 with the US singles champion David Freeman. Samis was a member of Canada’s first international Thomas Cup team in 1948-49. Fellow BC Sports Hall of Famer Daryl Thompson was also on the team.

Samis was ranked number four in the world during his career. He retired from badminton in 1949.