UH head coach Kelvin Sampson calls Jamal Shead 'the greatest leader I've ever coached'

Greg Bailey Image
Tuesday, March 12, 2024
UH's Sampson calls Shead 'the greatest leader I've ever coached'
The University of Houston men's basketball team will begin its Big 12 tournament on Thursday, with award-winning senior Jamal Shead on the court.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After four decades in coaching, University of Houston men's basketball head coach Kelvin Sampson calls senior point guard Jamal Shead "the greatest defensive guard I've ever coached and the greatest leader I've ever coached."

It's a remarkable tribute to Shead, shortly after he was named the Big 12 Player of the Year and the conference's Defensive Player of the Year.

On Monday, Shead told Eyewitness Sports that he was proud to represent UH and the city of Houston.

Shead thanked his teammates and his coaches, explaining Sampson pushed him to be one of the best players in college basketball.

"(Sampson) coaches everyone the same every single day," Shead said, adding that's just one of the characteristics that make Sampson "the best coach in America."

Shead also recognized that Sampson elevated every part of his game and his approach to competing every day while leading the nation's No. 1 ranked team.

"He has the utmost belief in you and the most trust in you whenever you earn it, and he never, never wavers with that," Shead said.

The top-ranked Cougars will play next Thursday in the Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship tournament against the winner of TCU vs. Oklahoma. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.

Sampson told ABC13 that the Cougars would watch tape from Saturday's win over Kansas and focus on "the next game."

That's the culture that's produced a 28-3 record and virtually assured the Cougars will earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament when the bracket is revealed this Sunday.

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