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East Carolina's Robert Sampson tries not to foul Memphis' Joe Jackson on Feb. 8 in Minges Coliseum. (Scott Davis/The Daily Reflector)

East Carolina's Robert Sampson tries not to foul Memphis' Joe Jackson on Feb. 8 in Minges Coliseum. (Scott Davis/The Daily Reflector)

Only one way to play for Sampson

“He’s always going all out and that’s what I respect about him as a player.”


ECU’s Maurice Kemp
On Robert Sampson

By Tony Castleberry

The Daily Reflector

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Robert Sampson admits that his style of play on the basketball court lends itself to occasional collisions — with other players and the hardwoood floor — but the East Carolina sophomore forward isn’t going to allow a knock here and there to change his game, as long as he’s able to play.

Sampson, known mostly for his hustle, ball-hawking defense and rebounding prowess thus far during his ECU career, has paid the price for his his all-out, all-the-time effort this season as he was forced to miss a pair of games — while being limited in a couple others — due to injuries. But the 6-foot-8 Atlanta native has persevered through the physical setbacks and may finally be able to become a consistent contributor for the Pirates (12-12, 3-8 Conference USA), who play at Central Florida (18-7, 7-4) tonight at 7.


ECU needs Sampson now more than ever as injuries and an academic suspension have left the Pirates with basically two big men — Sampson and senior forward Darrius Morrow — available to play major minutes.

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart