Credit: AP – Scanpix
Credit AP – Scanpix

Ekpe Udoh will miss the biggest part of, if not the entire 2021-22 season. Sergio Scariolo said that the team will look for a replacement for the experienced American big, and today, Virtus Segafredo Bologna announced their agreement with former NBA player JaKarr Sampson.

The deal is for two years, until June 30, 2023. A 2,06 m center, Sampson, 28, attended St. John’s College from 2012 to 2014.

Virtus Bologna General Manager, Paolo Ronci, explained the philosophy behind this signing.

“We suffered serious injuries that forced us to go back on the market and, thanks to the usual availability of Dr. Massimo Zanetti, we were able to do so for a high profile player.

JaKarr Sampson is a 28-year-old athlete with 200 NBA games of experience and characteristics of physicality and dynamism that we believe are useful to our roster. On behalf of Virtus Segafredo Bologna, I welcome JaKarr, who will be in Bologna in the next few days after completing the paperwork for the issuance of a visa to enter Italy”. 

Sampson’s pro career started with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Delaware 87ers, their affiliated franchise. In 2016 he signed with the Denver Nuggets, and one year later, he moved to the Sacramento Kings.

In 2018-2019 Sampson moved to China for the Shandong Golden Stars but finished the season with the Chicago Bulls on a 10-day contract.

In four NBA games, he averaged 20 points and 8 rebounds. In August 2019, Sampson signed with the Indiana Pacers, averaging almost 5 points and 3 rebounds per game. On November 29, he re-signed with Indiana, where he contested only four games last year.

He holds NBA career averages of 5.2 points, 2.7 rebounds on 25% three-point shooting over 15 minutes of playing time in 236 games.

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