Ralph Sampson’s son transfers to Tech

The college basketball transfer carousel spun out an addition for Georgia Tech.

Robert Sampson, who started 51 games over the past two seasons at East Carolina, has enrolled at Tech and began summer classes Monday. Sampson, a 6-foot-8 forward, is the son of basketball great Ralph Sampson.

Sampson, who played three seasons at East Carolina, will sit out the coming season and will have one season of eligibility after that.

“We’re excited about Robert joining our program,” Tech coach Brian Gregory said in a statement. “His size, length and proven rebounding ability fits in well with our style of play. The fact that he comes from a successful basketball family that values education makes Georgia Tech a great fit.”

Sampson started 33 games last season for the Pirates and was one of the best big men in Conference USA, averaging 9.1 points, 9.2 rebounds (third in the league) and 1.8 blocks (fifth). He also led the Pirates to the Collegeinsider.com postseason tournament title.

With one year of eligibility in the 2014-15 season, Sampson will help fill a gap left by big men Daniel Miller and Kammeon Holsey, who are both entering their senior seasons. Tech still has one scholarship available going into the season.

Sampson attended Northview High in north Fulton County for his first two years of high school before switching first to a school in Las Vegas and finally the Bullis School in Potomac, Md. Sampson’s brother, Ralph III, also attended Northview and played for Minnesota.

That a player like Sampson would transfer and sit out one season just to play one more year at his new school has become increasingly common. Cbssports.com basketball writer Jeff Goodman annually maintains a list of transferring Division I players. This year’s list is more than 400 players deep, more than one for each of the 345 teams in Division I. Tech has done its part, as Julian Royal and Brandon Reed left the team for George Mason and Arkansas State, respectively.