Sports

JaKarr Sampson Leaving St. John’s For NBA Draft

JaKarr Sampson #14 of the St. John's Red Storm dunks against the Marquette Golden Eagles at Madison Square Garden on February 1, 2014. (Photo by Nate Shron/Getty Images)

JaKarr Sampson #14 of the St. John’s Red Storm dunks against the Marquette Golden Eagles at Madison Square Garden on February 1, 2014. (Photo by Nate Shron/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Sophomore forward JaKarr Sampson, the second-leading scorer on St. John’s, has decided to forgo the remainder of his collegiate eligibility and enter the NBA draft.

“It has been my lifelong dream to play in the NBA, and I am excited and ready to begin that journey,” Sampson said in a statement. “I would like to thank Coach Lavin, our staff and my teammates for being there for me throughout my whole career at SJU.”

Red Storm coach Steve Lavin said Monday that the 6-foot-9 Sampson has not hired an agent but is in the process. The early entry deadline is April 27.

“We are grateful for JaKarr’s contributions to our St. John’s basketball program,” Lavin said. “In speaking with NBA general managers, JaKarr is projected as a draft prospect with intriguing talent and upside.”

Sampson was the 2013 Big East Rookie of the Year and was an All-Big East second-team selection this season. The native of Akron, Ohio, averaged 12.8 points and led the Red Storm in rebounding at 6.1 per game.

The Red Storm (20-12) played in the NIT in both of Sampson’s seasons. He averaged 13.9 points and 6.4 rebounds for his career.

There will be a news conference at St. John’s on Tuesday to make the announcement.

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