QUEENS, N.Y.- St. John's freshman, All-BIG EAST honorable mention and unanimous conference All-Rookie honoree JaKarr Sampson was named the 2012-13 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, as voted upon by the league's coaches and announced by the conference on Tuesday.
"The BIG EAST Rookie of the Year award was one of the individual goals I set for myself," said Sampson. "This is a big moment for me. I'm proud of myself for achieving my goal."
Sampson becomes the second-straight St. John's player to earn BIG EAST Rookie of the Year honors and the third overall. Moe Harkless took home the league's top freshman honor in 2011-12, while David Russell earned the award in 1979-80.
"JaKarr has this boundless energy and influences the game with his zeal, talent, length and versatility at both ends of the floor," said head coach Steve Lavin. "JaKarr probably has as much enthusiasm as any player I've coached. Energy is one of his gifts, he brings electricity and energy to the game, that separates or distinguishes him from other players. He has a passion and love for the game that's very clear."
A seven-time BIG EAST Rookie of the Week, Sampson leads all BIG EAST freshmen in scoring (14.9 ppg, 12th overall) and rebounding (6.6 rpg, 12th overall). His rejections (1.2, 10th), defensive rebounds (4.4, eighth) and offensive boards per game (2.2, 13th) are listed among BIG EAST conference leaders. In league play, his 15.1 ppg ranked 12th among all players.
The forward recorded a team-best 25 double-figure scoring efforts, including seven 20-point performances, and scored a career-high 22 points on two occasions. Sampson added three double-doubles on the year, including a 15-point, 17-rebound effort against NJIT (Dec. 1), a 16-point, 10-board performance against Fordham (Dec. 8) and a 21-point, 12-rebound effort against St. Francis (N.Y.) (Dec. 15). The 17 rebounds against NJIT marked the most for a Red Storm player since Lamont Hamilton also grabbed 17 boards against Niagara on Nov. 26, 2005.
Sampson led all conference freshmen with seven BIG EAST Rookie of the Week honors, from Nov. 26, Dec. 10, Dec. 17, Jan. 21, Jan. 28, Feb. 11 and March 4. With his seventh Rookie of the Week award, Sampson secured the fourth-most rookie honors in BIG EAST history. His mark trails only an elite group that includes Syracuse's Carmelo Anthony (10 Rookie of the Weeks in 2002-03), Georgetown's Allen Iverson (9, 1994-95) and Notre Dame's Troy Murphy (8, 1998-99).
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