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Sam Sessoms’ Transfer: A Sign Of More Good Things To Come For Penn State Hoops

Penn State men’s basketball bolstered its roster last Monday when Binghamton guard Sam Sessoms announced he’s coming to Happy Valley. Although the sophomore will need to sit out next season, his transfer marks another keystone moment in Pat Chamber’s tenure and perhaps a sign of sustained success for the Nittany Lions.

Sessoms, a West Philadelphia native, attended the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr. His transfer to Penn State continues the pipeline from Philly to State College that Pat Chambers has created. Mike Watkins, Lamar Stevens, Seth Lundy, and Izaiah Brockington all went to high school in Philadelphia, while John Harrar attended Strath Haven in Delaware County (read: “just outside of Philly”).

Although Binghampton’s America East conference pales in comparison to the Big Ten, if Sessom’s high school days are any indication, he should be up for the challenge of playing in one of college basketball’s premier conferences. At Shipley, he competed against some of the region’s top players in high school like current NBA players Mo Bamba and Cam Reddish, and along the way, he averaged 28.7 points and 4.6 rebounds.

As a 6’0″ point guard, Sessom has faced a lot of criticism and doubt throughout his career. But he’s constantly outperformed his critics and developed a very blue collar, back-against-the-wall attitude along the way — perhaps due to his upbringing in Philadelphia.

“They said I couldn’t compete against the best, did that.” Sessoms said in a Twitter video. “They said I couldn’t score 1,000 points. Did that twice.”

Sessoms’ two years at Binghamton were quite impressive, as he lead the team in points, steals, and assists both years. The guard was by far the Bearcats’ best player, scoring 7.8 more points per game than the next player up, and dishing out three more rebounds per game his sophomore season. Sessoms also shot a solid 41.5% from the field, and an impressive 81.4% from the stripe.

Although he was the leading scorer in his conference this past year, Sessoms’ passing game is where he truly stands out. His ability to create shots not just for himself, but for the rest of his team proved to be one of his main assets at Binghamton. This should be a helpful trait for Sessoms to carry over to Penn State.

So where does Sessoms fit into Pat Chambers’ puzzle? Well, similar to Izaiah Brockington, Sessoms will most likely need to sit out next year due to NCAA transfer rules. The NCAA actually might be changing this rule in June, but it wouldn’t go into affect until the 2021-22 season, according to Jon Rothstein. But Penn State’s current roster makeup actually could be posed for sustained success.

Nittany Lion fans should already be looking forward to building off of this statement season next year and beyond, but Sessoms’ transfer marks an even deeper narrative shift for Penn State basketball. Talented players want to come to Happy Valley, and want to build something bigger.

“Penn State basketball is on the uprise,” Sessoms told the Centre Daily Times.

The 2021-22 Penn State team will have an impressive senior backcourt, as Myreon Jones, Izaiah Brockington, and Myles Dread will all be vying for minutes in their final season. They’ll be joined by Sessoms along with three-star recruits Dallion Johnson and DJ Gordon, who give fans plenty of reasons to be excited.

Current freshman Seth Lundy, who had quite an impressive first season, will continue to be a workhorse forward for the Nittany Lions. Although Lundy is 6’6″, he doesn’t really fill a center role for Penn State. With John Harrar graduating after next season, Chambers will likely turn to JUCO commit Valdir Manuel or other future recruits or transfers to step up as a five.

Sessoms’ well-rounded play style along with an impressive shooting and passing game will likely translate well into the Big Ten, and his ability to get to the free-throw line will fill help fill a Lamar Stevens-sized-hole for Penn state.

All in all, Sessoms’ transfer creates a new world of promise and hope for Penn State. Chambers continues to fill out and develop the roster, looking for guys like Sessoms to fill the role of graduating seniors, and keep climbing.

“We’re a national program now,” Chambers said on Steve Jones’ ESPN show. “The talent that we have currently in the program really fires me up for the future.”

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a redshirt senior majoring in business and journalism from "Philadelphia" and mostly writes about football nowadays. You can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9 or say hi via email at [email protected]

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