Illinois State Basketball Signs Samuel
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May 1, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State added another forward to its roster, as Jamaal Samuel (6-foot-9, 200-pounds) signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to continue his education and basketball career at ISU, head basketball coach Dan Muller announced Wednesday.
A New Orleans native, Samuel will have three years of eligibility remaining with the Redbirds, after transferring from South Plains College in Lubbock, Texas.
"Jamaal is a long and athletic big man who has only been playing basketball for three years," Muller said. "He was a prospect that we really liked last summer on the circuit, and we have followed him all year. Jamaal played behind two highly recruited big men for a very good South Plains team this past year, so he competed against high-level competition every day in practice. Because of Jamaal's inexperience and his natural athleticism, we believe his upside is tremendous."
Following a standout prep career at O. Perry Walker High School in New Orleans, Samuel helped guide South Plains to a 22-8 overall record and an 11-5 mark in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC) as a freshman last season.
As a high school senior, Samuel averaged 16 points and eight rebounds to help the 2011-12 O. Perry Walker team (21-9) reach the New Orleans Class 4A state semifinals for the third time in five seasons. In one of his top performances of the year, Samuel scored a game-high 18 points with six rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots to guide O. Perry Walker to an upset-win over St. John Bosco of Bellflower, Calif., at the Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl Prep Basketball Classic.
According to ESPN.com, Samuel was in contention for the 2011-12 Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year award. He was also ranked 42nd among small forwards by ESPN in 2011.
In addition to his high school career, Samuel also played for the New Orleans Elite AAU Team. He is Muller's fourth signee during Illinois State's spring signing period.
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Photo Courtesy of South Plains College.