Madison Prep guard Brandon Sampson has committed to St. John’s, ending speculation on where Louisiana’s top boys basketball prospect in the class of 2015 will attend college.
MPA coach Jeff Jones confirmed Sampson’s commitment on Monday morning, saying the 6-foot-5 senior started the process of calling other college recruiters to inform them of his decision on Sunday.
Sampson is averaging 17 points, 6 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for the 18-1 Chargers. Jones said Sampson’s decision to pick St. John’s didn’t come as a total surprise. UCLA, Cal, and Southern Cal and LSU also were among his finalists.
“I looked at all the schools and put down a list of pros and cons,” Sampson said. “There were more pros for St. John’s. I look forward to being able to fill in the shoes of the seniors who’ll graduate, getting a lot of minutes and hopefully starting. I’d like to prove I can be a big time scorer.”
Sampson, an MPA teammate of current LSU player Jarell Martin, was considered a prime target for the Tigers for quite some time.
However, LSU signed top guard prospect Ben Simmons last fall and added a commitment from another five-star guard prospect, Antonio Blakeney on Jan. 2, raising questions about what Sampson’s role with the Tigers could be.
“Brandon was looking for was the chance to play significant minutes and possibly start as a freshman and I think he’ll get that chance at St. John’s,” Jones said. “I’ve always been told there are two things you need to be selfish about, picking a wife or a college.
“You have to make the decision that’s best for you in both instances. That’s what Brandon did in this case, make the best decision for himself.”
Sampson says making a college choice now frees him up to focus completely on the Chargers’ season. Class 1A MPA’s lone loss was to Mississippi-based Calloway High. Sampson said he plans a college major in either journalism or business
“I want to concentrate on winning a (state) championship with this team,” Sampson said. “That’s the most important thing now. We’re 17-0 (against Louisiana teams) and want to keeping rolling.”