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LOCAL COLLEGE NOTEBOOK: Ex-GSW hoops star Brown gets second pro contract overseas; FSU's Stewart to compete in College HR Derby; Sampson's son transferring to Ga. Tech

Phillip Brown leaves GSW for a professional basketball career overseas in France after becoming the school's first-ever NCAA Division II All-American.

Phillip Brown leaves GSW for a professional basketball career overseas in France after becoming the school's first-ever NCAA Division II All-American.

AMERICUS — Former Georgia Southwestern men’s basketball standout and Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year Phillip Brown signed a professional contract to play for Stade Montois of the French National 2 League in 2013-14.

“I’m excited,” Brown said. “It just shows that you have to keep working towards your goals and you will reach them.”

Brown had his rookie season cut short after suffering a season-ending injury with Pays des Olonnes Basket in the French National 2 League last year. Brown re-injured the knee that had caused him to miss half of his senior season at GSW.

“It was disappointing, but I still had a goal in mind,” Brown said. “I’m blessed to have another opportunity and been signed by another team.”

Brown is scheduled to report in early August and will call the French town of Mont-de-Marsan home until season’s end. Mont-de-Marsan is located 30 minutes from the Bay of Biscay in the southwest corner of the country.

“It will be a little different this time,” Brown said. “I know what to expect. I have the experience from last year.”

Brown was named the PBC Player of the Year in 2011 while earning All-Conference First Team honors as a member of the Hurricanes. He led the PBC in both rebounding and field goal percentage while coming in second in blocked shots and 11th in scoring.

Brown ranked near the top of D-II in several categories in 2011, as well, including rebounds per game (fifth), field goal percentage (13th) and blocks (21st).

The 6-foot-7 Jonesboro native was the first student-athlete in GSW history to be named an NCAA All-American.


FSU freshman picked for College HR Derby

Florida State freshman DJ Stewart will be one of eight student-athletes competing in the 2013 TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby contest.

The home run derby will be held on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET inside TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., home of the NCAA College World Series. The fourth-annual event will air nationally on ESPN at 8 p.m. on July 4. This year’s roster will include power hitters selected from a pool of eligible players that have ranked among the nation’s home run leaders during the 2013 college baseball season.

Stewart closed out his first year at Florida State as the team leader in average (.364), hits (82), doubles (25), slugging percentage (.560), on-base percentage (.469) and stolen bases (8), while ranking third with five home runs. He finished the season ranked in the top 10 in the ACC in six offensive categories including doubles (3rd), batting average (4th), on-base percentage (5th), RBI (7th), slugging percentage (8th) and hits (9th).


Ralph Sampson’s son transfers to Ga. Tech

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

Robert Sampson, who started 51 games during 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. "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 moving to Las Vegas.