"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," St. John’s Head Coach Steve Lavin said. "In speaking with NBA general managers JaKarr is projected as a draft prospect with intriguing talent and upside."
"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.," Sampson said. "I would like to thank Coach 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."
The athletic scorer averaged 12.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 1.2 APG this season, and recently had 11 points, five rebounds and three assists in the Johnnies loss in the first round of the NIT to Robert Morris. DraftExpress does not have Jakarr Sampson in their mock draft that was last updated on Sunday March 23rd, but they do rank him as the fourth best prospect in the Big East and the 33rd best sophomore.
Sampson stated regarding where he expects to be selected in the draft, "I have been advised that I may be selected between the late first and mid-second round, but the important thing is I am in the mix and I know I can earn my way up the draft board."
Jeff Goodman an ESPN Basketball Insider said on Twitter that he thinks that he should have stayed another year in college, but Sampson pronounced that "This wasn't a quick decision, but it’s been something I’ve been considering for more than a year. I took my time and spoke with key people. After evaluating all of my options, I decided to continue to reach for my NBA dream. My ultimate dream is to not just reach the NBA, but to stay there. I want to stay for a long time and make a career out of it. Right now it’s close. It’s reachable."
If the sophomore is drafted he will be the first player from St.John’s since 2012 when Maurice Harkless was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers.