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‘Finding Hope Through Hoops’: Sam Sessoms Discusses Leading Protest On Philadelphia’s FOX 29 News

Penn State men’s basketball transfer Sam Sessoms joined Philadelphia’s FOX 29 news station this morning to discuss his organization of protests in one of the city’s western neighborhoods this week.

Sessoms, a Philadelphia native, harnessed his love for basketball to protest police brutality and racial injustice following the death of George Floyd and other black men and women.

“I went to Martha Washington Middle School. After middle school, I went to the Shipley High School of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and then after that, I transferred to Binghamton for two years, and now I’m at Penn State University,” Sessoms told FOX 29’s Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley.

Donning a Penn State men’s basketball polo, Sessoms explained the thought process behind the peaceful protests to Jerrick and Holley and highlighted the purpose behind them.

“Me and a bunch of friends, maybe five or six of us, decided to take a stance. We’re all college athletes, and we kind of needed basketball as a shield,” Sessoms said. “We knew if we went out there and we had basketballs, nothing that would bring anything to the crowd or the streets of Philadelphia, the police would be peaceful with us.”

The Nittany Lion joined several other college hoops stars while demonstrating in the City of Brotherly Love, including Villanova’s Dhamir Crosby-Roundtree, Rider’s Christian Ings, and Quinnipiac’s Tyree Pickron.

“We just wanted to show that student-athletes can use their platform or take a stance,” Sessoms said.

View this post on Instagram

Previous post was deleted!!! Today I let a protest with a group of friends. No one was injured and everyone is home safe. I never felt this good in my life. I woke up and attempted to make a change. I did this for George Floyd and every African American who goes through tough time because of their blackness!!! Please share the post and drop comments if you believe.

A post shared by Sam Sessoms (@samsessoms3) on

“No one was injured and everyone is home safe,” Sessoms wrote on “Instagram. I never felt this good in my life. I woke up and attempted to make a change. I did this for George Floyd and every African American who goes through tough time because of their blackness!!!”

Sessoms added the reaction to his hoops-inspired protest has been exceptionally positive. He said many friends have reached out to him wishing to join and grow the movement in hopes of inspring change.

Additionally, Sessoms encouraged any local “just outside Philly” folks to reach out to him through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram if they’d like to join the movement.

Although Sessoms doesn’t currently have any concrete plans for another protest, he plans to peacefully demonstrate again before leaving for Penn State on June 15.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt is a junior majoring in journalism and is Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football aficionado, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza. His favorite shows include Community, Seinfeld, and Arrested Development, and he'll probably talk your ear off about them. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ for bad sports takes or email him at [email protected]

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