Isaiah Sampson, known to many as “Ezzy Buckets”, is a former student and star basketball player at Camas High School. Sampson graduated in 2019 and is continuing his basketball career at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington. Sampson was a three-year varsity player at CHS. During his sophomore year, he was awarded Second-Team All-Greater Saint Helens League, and during his junior and seniors years he was awarded First-Team All-Greater Saint Helens League. Sampson’s attitude is really what sets him apart from the rest.
CHS Senior Jacob Gray said, “Isaiah is the type of guy to mostly put things in his head that will benefit him. He is real with you and he doesn’t care what other people think about what he has to say. Isaiah is a hard worker in school and on the court.”
When Sampson comes back into town, Gray and a small group of other CHS basketball players make it their mission to get in the gym with him. Sampson is a terrific leader that always tries to bring the best out of his friends on and off the court.
CHS Senior Blake Bell said, “Ezzy is one of the most hard-working people I’ve ever met. When you get in the gym with him you can feel his energy the second you walk in.”
In college, Sampson’s daily life consists of waking up early for morning workouts, study hall, then he caps it all off with practice. He puts in countless hours every day with aspirations of taking his basketball talents to division one.
He said, “What keeps me motivated is just always having that goal in mind. When I am working, it reassures me what I’m doing is for a reason.”
Sampson’s large smile and welcoming approach have made him the perfect role model to many aspiring CHS basketball players. He is a perfect representation of the type of excellence that the CHS basketball program pushes for. Rome was not built in a day, Sampson’s personality has been formed through replicating and learning from great leaders around him.
He said, “A big inspiration throughout my journey for me has been my father. He’s taught me pretty much everything that I know whether on the court or off it and he pushes me every day to be the best player and person I can be.”
Another one of Sampson’s role models is Washington Wizards Point Guard Russell Westbrook.
He said, “The effort that he gives on the court every night is something that inspires me to go as hard as him. But he works just as hard if not harder off the court with his foundation and letting his voice be heard to help create change.”
Pushing for change and equality is very important to Sampson. At CHS, he was President of the Black Student Union. Sampson reflected on Black History Month and what it means to him.
He said, “To me, BHM means a time to reflect on how far we have come as a community while also looking back at the ones who have paved the way for us to be where we are today as we try to continue with the work that they have already started.”
He added, “Looking back on the things that MLK and others had to go through during their time really reminds me of how fortunate I am and we are as a people to be in the situation we are in right now in terms of opportunities and freedom. But it also reminds me that some of the things that they had to deal with we still have to deal with to this day so it always reminds me that we have come along way but we still have a long way to go.”