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Former St. John’s Forward JaKarr Sampson Makes Philadelphia 76ers Opening Night Roster

Former St. John’s standout JaKarr Sampson has made the Philadelphia 76ers 15-man roster for opening night as announced Monday. The 6-foot-9 forward from Akron, Ohio will make his NBA debut on Wednesday when the Sixers visit the Indiana Pacers at 7 p.m. Sampson, the 2012-13 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, joins Maurice Harkless as the second St. John’s player mentored by Steve Lavin to land on an NBA roster.

Sampson scored 915 points and grabbed 420 rebounds starting 65 of 66 appearances over his career at St. John’s. He posted 13.9 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per contest to help the Red Storm to win 37 games and make consecutive postseason appearances.

As a sophomore, Sampson ranked 17th in the BIG EAST with a 12.8 scoring average and led St. John’s in rebounding with 6.1 per game, the seventh highest average in the conference. Sampson stood ninth among all BIG EAST players and 95th nationally with a .495 field goal percentage. After leading the team in scoring six times and in rebounding on 11 occasions, Sampson was honored with a 2014 All-Met second team mention by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association.

“We are extremely happy for JaKarr and his family. Playing at the highest level in the NBA is a special accomplishment,” said Lavin. “JaKarr is a versatile and athletic player who has a bright future in this sport. We wish him the best as he continues to bring his dreams to life.”

After declaring for the NBA draft on March 24, 2014, Sampson joined the Sixers’ summer league squad where he competed from July 5-11 in Orlando and July 11-21 in Las Vegas to earn his spot on the opening night roster.

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