James Sampson 1954
James "Jimmy" Sampson was one of the first among many outstanding high school basketball stars from the New York and New Jersey areas recruited to Benedict College in 1950s and 1960s by legendary Coach John Brown.
The talented guard/forward from Newark, NJ was speed-of-light fast with great shooting range and quick release. Opponents considered him a complete basketball player-- superb scorer, skilled playmaker, tenacious defender with polish and poise of the best in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. He was the engineer in Benedict's aggressive man-to-man pressure defense.
For several years after his graduation in 1954, Sampson held the Benedict record of most points scored in a game and total points during a career, 49 and 1,853, respectively. His records were later broken by two other northerners who are now members of the Benedict Hall of Fame -- Timothy Shine, the Tigers' current single game scoring leader with 51 points, and Robert McCullough, the current career scoring leader with 2,353 points.
Sampson was a high school teacher and coach in Fairfield County, South Carolina before returning north, where he presently is employed by the New York Housing Authority.