Kevin Stallings and staff are on a roll. They recently received a pair of commitments from 2017 Union City (TN) Union City HS shooting guard Parker Stewart and 2018 Saint James (MD) Saint James School power forward Bryce Golden. Stewart officially signed his national letter of intent last week. Washington (PA) First Love Christian Academy power forward Samson George (6-foot-7 ½ inches, 220 pounds) visited the Panthers over the weekend. On Monday morning he decided to commit.
“Pitt felt like home. I was very comfortable there. I’m very excited about joining their basketball program,” said George.
George had over 20 scholarship offers a year ago. Oregon State, USC, Monmouth, VCU and Iona were amongst the group of schools pursing the rugged power forward. He felt very comfortable at Iona and committed to the Gaels. George was redshirting and the NCAA continued to pursue his amateurism clearances. With the amateurism situation unresolved, Iona decided to release him from his scholarship. Shortly after his full release, the NCAA resolved the situation and cleared him to play college basketball. Pitt assistant Sam Ferry had aggressively pursued Samson while at Monmouth University and Ferry wasted little time contacting him and scheduling an official visit to Pitt.
“I’m bringing energy to Pitt. I’m bringing a high motor that will run the floor and do the little things that some people don’t want to do. That’s how I see my role.”
George was asked if he discussed the opportunity for playing time next season with the coaching staff. He stated, “We didn’t have a specific discussion. I know that if I do what I do on the floor, I’ll get playing time.”
“I really like my new teammates and coaches. The team is full of high character players. I felt like I quickly fit in with them. We had great chemistry,” he said. “I really like the coaches. They were very nice, they could relate to the players and you could tell they would always be there for you. I asked the players about the coaches and they had nothing but great things to say about them.”
“I’m really excited to join the Pitt basketball program. It feels great to be a Panther. I can’t wait to get started.”
Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with First Love Christian Academy head basketball coach Khayree Wilson last week. When asked to describe George, he stated, “Sam is a stretch four that’s very aggressive and runs the floor well. He controls the glass very well and he’s a finisher. Sam has a grit and toughness that will remind you of the players Pitt had back in their Big East days.”
George is the 8th player to join the Panthers 2017 recruiting class.
Harry Psaros can be found on twitter at @PittGuru