Sophomore JaKarr Sampson announced Tuesday that he will forego his final two years of college basketball eligibility and declare for the NBA Draft.
Sampson said he is projected to be selected between the late first round to mid-second round and if selected, would become the 61st St. John’s player chosen in the NBA Draft. He spoke to reporters Wednesday about his decision.
“It was kind of an easy decision for me. It just felt right, like last year it didn’t feel right for me,” Sampson said. “I didn’t feel comfortable, I was always in between, that’s why I came back, this year it was very clear cut for me, I feel right about it, I’m ready and I’m excited about it.“
Sampson is entering a loaded draft that includes ACC Player of the year T.J. Warren, Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins and Duke’s Rodney Hood. It is also assumed that Kansas freshman Joel Embiid and Duke freshman Jabari Parker.
Sampson isn’t listed on some mock draft boards, but he said that won’t affect him.
“It don’t bother me, I know what I can do and I know what I can show at the next level,” Sampson said. “I feel like an unfinished product. I work my butt off every summer, I’m never going to stay the same. I’m not worried about it into the draft. I’m going to handle my business and work my butt off and I know the sky is the limit.”
Sampson spent time this past summer working on his mid-range jumper that has been a trademark to the sophomore’s game, but there are other aspects that Sampson said he will have to improve on as well.
“Just my all-around game,” Sampson said. “I’m going to have to show my perimeter game since that’s the position I’m going to play at the next level, the three, so show my perimeter game, show my ball-handling is better my range is better from three.”
Sampson will be one of many prospects hoping to hear his name called by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in the NBA draft on June 26.