The Philly to State College basketball pipeline was established in 2011. Pat Chambers decided to leave Boston University and take on the tremendous challenge of breathing life into the basketball program at Penn State University. Along with Alabama, Texas and USC, Penn State is one of the premier “football” schools in American.
Basketball in State College was thought of as something to occupy the space between the Bowl Game in January and the start of Spring football. How would Chambers eek out some space for his program in the mind of the Happy Valley faithful? How would he establish an identity for his program?
Born into the Philadelphia basketball culture, Chambers decided to bet heavily on what he knows. A Philly guard himself, Chambers placed his fate and that of the Penn State program in capable hands of Philly guards. He had an affinity for the guys that endured trials and tribulations. His first recruit, Devonte “DJay” Newbill, was unceremoniously dumped by that scalawag Buzz Williams after committing to Marquette. After enduring a year playing in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Newbill agreed to join Chambers at Penn State.
Newbill would go on to have a wonderful career. He finished with 2105 points, 681 rebounds and 340 assists. Moreover, and more importantly, he paved the way for future Nittany Lions from the 215. John Johnson transferred from Pitt, Shep Garner was a 4-year starter out of Roman Catholic. Big Mike Watkins from MCS joined the squad. Nazeer Bostic, Lamar Stevens and Tony Carr joined the program all at once. John Harrar put down the football pads and decided play a little power forward in the Big 10. Izaiah Brockington left St. Bonaventure and became a key member of the Nittany Lion club that was ranked as high as #9 this past season.
Well… here we go again… another Philly guard that has been through some real ups and downs has decided to join Chambers and the Nittany Lions. Twenty-four months ago, Sam Sessoms had exactly one (1) scholarship offer from Binghamton. In two All-League seasons, Sessoms put up 1151 points, 254 rebounds and 253 assists.
Desirous of an opportunity to compete at the highest level, Sessoms has decided to join a Nittany Lion club that was ranked in the top 25 most of the last season. He will redshirt a year have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
When asked why he chose Penn State over Rutgers, Wichita State, Marquette, Clemson and 50 other suitors, Sessoms said “It’s a great school, degree from Penn State will be huge for a boy from the Bottom section of West Philly. And, the Penn State alumni family is huge, I look forward to becoming a part of the network. As far as basketball is concerned, I think it’s a nice fit. I can see myself growing as a player and person under Coach Chambers and the coaching staff. Most importantly after basketball, a degree from Penn state would be good for me for the rest of my life.”
One of the most entertaining and competitive players in college basketball, Sessoms will provide Chambers with yet another Philly guard with a chip on his shoulder. Expectations will be high and Sessoms will exceed them.
Welcome home to the City 7 Sam Sessoms!