The list of accolades in rising sophomore Sam Sessoms’ college basketball career is so long that most would think the standout guard is a senior. Sessoms ended his first season on the Binghamton men’s basketball team with 588 points, 109 rebounds and 37 steals. He earned the America East Rookie of the Week award seven times (the most in BU history) and was named America East Rookie of the Year. These are just a few of Sessoms’ many accomplishments, earning him Pipe Dream’s pick for Male Athlete of the Year.
“During the season, I didn’t really care about the awards too much, but looking back on it, it just lets me know I’m doing the right thing as far as working every day and getting toward my goals,” Sessoms said.
Sessoms credits the awards he won during the 2018-19 campaign to the support and dedication of his teammates.
“I love my teammates,” Sessoms said. “[They’re] like my brothers. Being with them every day, you just build a relationship. [They’re] a group of good guys, so yeah, we’re cool.”
Before Sessoms, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native, became a star basketball player for BU, he began playing basketball in his neighborhood when he was young, then put in four impressive years at the Shipley School. Sessoms earned team MVP honors three times, scoring a school record of 2,091 career points over his four years. Being one of the stars of his high school team, Sessoms had a difficult decision to make when choosing colleges. Sessoms said that he ultimately decided to come to Binghamton because of its high academic standing, its facilities and the vision of the coaches.
“I love the coaching staff,” Sessoms said. “We have a real good relationship. I have a good relationship with everybody on the coaching staff. They’re good men. They stand on their word, honest, truthful. They push everybody to the best they can be.”
While Sessoms has won several individual awards, such as tying the single-game school record of 34 points, being selected for third-team all-conference and being ranked fifth in the NCAA for freshman scoring, his favorite memory from this season is one that he shared with the team.
“My favorite memory was knocking off Stony Brook in the semifinals because we were like the underdogs,” Sessoms said. “Nobody expected us to win.”
With the Stony Brook win, Sessoms is optimistic for the future of Binghamton men’s basketball. After meeting the new recruits and playing with returning team members, Sessoms said if the team puts in effort in the weight room and on the basketball court, and listens to the coaches’ messages, the team will be in good hands.
“My goal is to have a winning season, get my team closer to the NCAA tournament, if not inside of it,” Sessoms said. “I just wanna do whatever I can to help the team win and be successful.”
After scoring 20 or more points in 12 games, 30 or more twice and setting new BU freshman records for points, assists, steals and 3-pointers, Sessoms is doing more than enough to propel the Bearcats to new heights. Sessoms, however, said everything he leaves on the court is for the team.
“I’m not out there for myself,” Sessoms said. “It’s for other people.”