St. John's sophomore forward JaKarr Sampson intends to enter the NBA draft, the school announced on Monday evening.
“It has been my lifelong dream to play in the NBA, and I am excited and ready to begin that journey. I am grateful to my teammates and coaches at St. John's. I would like to thank Coach [Steve] Lavin, our staff and my teammates for being there for me throughout my whole career at SJU. We have been through a lot together and I know everyone is excited for me,” Sampson said in a statement.
"Coach Lavin and my support group have helped me conduct research and the information gathered indicates that with hard work, I have a chance to improve my stock and play in the NBA next year. I will work hard and prove myself in every workout. I know I can impress upon GMs and coaches that I am ready be a contributor to a NBA team.”
Sampson, a 6-foot-9 prospect from Ohio, averaged 12.8 points and 6.1 rebounds this past season for the Red Storm. His length and athleticism make him a factor on the defensive end, as he has the ability to guard multiple positions. He can also play in transition effectively, too.
“JaKarr will forego his final two years of eligibility and pursue his dream of playing in the NBA. 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 will likely be projected as a second-round pick.