On Sampson: A long, athletic, slashing scorer ... a noted shot-blocker and prolific offensive and defensive rebounder ... was rated as high as the No. 11 player at his position and the No. 31 overall prospect originally in the Class of 2011 ... dynamic on-court game only eclipsed by his buoyant personality.
Steve Lavin On Sampson: "JaKarr is a skilled and athletically dynamic basketball player with the ability to influence the game at both ends of the floor. His ability to create off the dribble, slash to the basket and finish at the rim gives him distinction among his peers. JaKarr has a strong work ethic and is an eager student of the game. His enthusiasm and passion for competing will have a contagious effect on his teammates."
At Brewster Academy: Named the NEPSAC AAA Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player of the National Prep Championship during his postgraduate year at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., in 2011-12 ... keyed the Bobcats to a 33-1 record and the 2012 national tournament title in New Haven, Conn. ... first team All-NEPSAC performer ... averaged 18.5 points per game and 11.0 rebounds to lift Brewster to the No. 1 prep school ranking for 18-consecutive weeks and a top five overall finish ... led his squad to a 130-127 victory during the April 6, 2012, Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic all-star game at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky. ... scored 18 points on 9-of-11 field goals and grabbed six boards in 25 minutes of play ... a first team All-NEPSAC performer in 2010-11, leading Brewster to a 31-3 record ... averaged 15.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg and 3.0 blocks per outing as a senior ... played for the East Team alongside St. John's Maurice Harkless and competing against current teammate D'Angelo Harrison in the inaugural All-American Classic in Houston at the 2011 Final Four ... scored 10 points in that contest on 4-of-9 field goals and added four boards and a steal ... coach at Brewster Academy was Jason Smith.
At. St. Vincent-St. Mary: Averaged 14.0 points per game and 8.0 rebounds as a junior in 2009-10 for the same high school attended by NBA champion and Olympic gold medalist LeBron James ... led St. Vincent-St. Mary to a state title in 2009 ... played summer basketball for the King James Shooting Stars, named for his hometown hero.
Personal: JaKarr Jordan Sampson ... born in Cleveland, Ohio ... son of Dawnette Epps and Darrel Sampson ... has two brothers, D.J. (22) and Justin (13) ... majoring in liberal studies and interested in business.
Up Close With JaKarr Sampson
Favorite TV show: "SpongeBob SquarePants".
Favorite actor: Will Smith.
Favorite place to hang out on campus/NYC area: Taffner Field House.
Favorite book: The bible.
Greatest athletic accomplishment: Winning the national championship at Brewster Academy.
Hero/role model(s): LeBron James.
Favorite athlete/sports team: LeBron James.
Favorite St. John's athlete: Max Hooper.
Few people know that: My favorite color is purple.
Best thing about St. John's: The family atmosphere.
One word to describe me on the court: "Fearless."
One word to describe me off the court: "Goofball."
The St. John's basketball player that will surprise you this year: Chris Obekpa.
If I could have dinner with three people (history or today): SpongeBob and Michael Jordan.
What do you want to accomplish this season: Win the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year award.
Favorite quote: "It's not that we are inadequate, it's that we are powerful beyond measure."
Funny superstitions/pregame rituals: Grabbing the rim.
The teammate that inspires me is: Max Hooper.
If I could switch places for a day with any person (real or fictional) I'd be: SpongeBob. He seems like a happy guy. He is always singing, smiling, dancing, making people happy and those are all things I love to do.