Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
JaKarr Sampson is headed to Brewster (N.H.) Academy and his old coach isn’t too happy about it.
The 6-foot-8, 193-pound forward had spent the previous three years at Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary, LeBron James’ alma mater.
But after visiting national powerhouse Brewster Aug. 15, Sampson elected to spend his senior year there, joining a loaded team that will also include big man Markus Kennedy and guards Naadir Tharpe and Elijah Carter.
“I can just confirm that he’s withdrawn from our school,” St. Vincent Athletic Director Andy Jalwan said Friday by phone.”[Dawnette Epps, JaKarr’s mother] indicated to us that her son was not provided the proper academic structure here at St. V. I don’t think I need to defend our school’s academic program. We really did a lot for the young man and I’m sad to see him leave.”
Kids transferring to prep schools has become more and more popular in recent years, as they seek to improve their academic and basketball skills and also get recruited at a higher level.
What’s unique about this case is that St. Vincent-St. Mary coach Dru Joyce II specifically called out Xavier University in the Akron Beacon Journal story, maintaining that Brewster recruited Sampson with Xavier’s help.
‘They want to pull kids away so they can have more control,” Joyce II told the Beacon Journal.
Joyce II told the paper that he will no longer allow Xavier to recruit any of his players.
”Those guys have made an enemy here,” he said.
Brewster coach Jason Smith says Joyce’s comments have no basis in reality.
“I never spoke with anyone at Xavier in regard to JaKarr Sampson transferring to Brewster Academy,” Smith said by text. “I communicated directly with JaKarr’s mother, Dawnette.”
Whatdoesn’t make sense to me is that that the last time I spoke with Don Anderson, Sampson’s AAU coach, and Sampson, Xavier wasn’t even on the kid’s list.
Anderson said Sampson’s current college list includes St. John’s, Tennessee, Kansas, Baylor and Louisville.
So if Xavier isn’t even on Sampson’s list, why would he follow their direction about a prep school?
Doesn’t make sense.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.