The Shipley senior point guard is the Gators’ all-time leading points scorer (as of Jan. 15 he has 1,625 career points). He scored 35 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and dished out five assists in a 68-61 win against Friends’ Central Jan. 9, tallied 35 points against Episcopal Academy earlier this month (including 9-for-14 from three-point territory) and scored 37 points in the Gators’ 69-64 win against Neumann Goretti last month. A McDonald’s All-American Game nominee, Sessoms will be playing basketball for Binghamton University next winter.
Q: As point guard, you are the team’s on-floor leader. Can you give a recent example of where you had to exert your leadership at a key moment in a game?
A: The most recent example was against Friends’ Central, when they rallied and were only one point [behind]. Some of our guys seemed nervous, but during a timeout I pulled the five that were out there and said not to panic and that we will be fine. I said a few other things as well, but the main thing was for me to show them that there was nothing to get nervous about.
Q: What does it mean to you to be nominated for the McDonald’s All-American Game?
A: It means a lot for me to get nominated for the game, it’s a dream that I didn’t even think about growing up. The fact that I was one of the two nominated from the local area means a lot as well, because it shows that hard work has paid off.
Q: What is your most vivid memory of the Gators’ win against Friends’ Central – can you share it with us?
A: My most vivid memory is from the first half. I was pushing the ball down the lane and I remember big Ray [Somerville] trailing me. I dished him the ball and he slammed it down the middle. I knew it would be a good game after that.
Q: What was the key to your productivity from three-point range against EA?
A: I was just feeling it from deep, it was my first game back from a MCL injury and that played a role. I didn’t want to get hurt again so I settled for jumpers, it just happened to be a good day when I decided to settle.
Q: Tell us a little about the Neumann-Goretti game – what is your most vivid memory from that game? What was the key to your success that day?
A: That was the best we have played this year, everyone from the team stepped up that day and had a role in the win. That game I came in with the mindset to attack as we jumped for the ball. My most vivid memory of that game was in the fourth quarter. I was driving down the lane, the game was getting close and I had a 1-on-1 on Marcus Littles with the left hand, after that, it was over.
Q: Last season, you mentioned that the key to your scoring success was Shipley’s new fast-paced offense. Has the Gators’ offense this season been similarly up-tempo, and how has that boosted your scoring?
A: Yes, the tempo and style of the offense is similar from last year. I feel like my scoring has improved because my game has just became more polished from everywhere on the floor on the offensive end.
Q: Last winter, you mentioned that your Dad, Sam Sessoms Sr., sparked your original interest in basketball, and that he has been one of your key basketball mentors. Can you tell us a little about his basketball career?
A: He attended University City high school in Philly and he was also a 1,000 point scorer. Unfortunately he couldn’t play in college due to ankle injuries his senior year. Both of his ankles were broken.
Q: What do you feel is currently the strongest aspect of your game? What are you working on most at the current time?
A: My strongest part to my game is still pushing the ball in transition and attacking the rim. I am a really good finisher around the rim and that’s how I get a good amount of my points. Currently, I am working on my shot from the three point line, it has improved since last year, but I want it to go to another level.
Q: Last season, you said you patterned your game after Chris Paul, who you said is the game’s last true point guard. Do you still try to pattern your game after his?
A: My game has shifted more towards Russell Westbrook because I play the similar role as him on my high school team. Also, I like pushing the ball and going coast to coast.
Q: What attracted you to Binghamton University?
A: Binghamton University has a great campus and a really amazing arena. The coaches welcomed me with open arms and love on the unofficial visit and official visit. A lot of people don’t know this, but Binghamton was the first college to ever text my phone – it was my sophomore year.
Q: You are a member of Shipley’s Film Club. What is your favorite all-time movie, and why?
A: My favorite movie of all time would have to be Coach Carter because it is a movie of a bunch of dudes that play for a high school team and are successful, but the main reason is because the kids on the team came from a very similar environment as me before attending Shipley.
Fun facts – Sam Sessoms
Favorite book: True American.
Favorite author: Alice Walker.
Favorite TV show: Jerry Springer.
Favorite athlete: Russell Westbrook.
Favorite team: Oklahoma City Thunder.
Favorite pre-game meal: Peanuts.
Favorite color: Sky blue.
Siblings: Sapphira, Sidney, Saint, Katie.
(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)
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