Houston Cougars’ head basketball coach, Kelvin Sampson, is poised to lead his team to the second NCAA’s Final Four for the second straight year. Coach Sampson is a tribal citizen of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

Before getting to the Final Four, Houston has to beat Villanova tonight. Houston's 72-60 Sweet 16 upset over No.1 seed Arizona on Thursday night got the team to the Elite Eight.

Watch Houston Cougrars v. Villanova Wildcats

WHEN: Saturday, March 26, 2022 at 6:09 p.m. - EDT


STREAM: Watch 

Want more Native News? Get the free daily newsletter today.

“We're not Villanova,” Sampson said at a press conference when answering a question about Houston’s Elite Eight opponent Saturday. “Villanova's up here. We're down here. We're not there. Maybe one day we can be, but we're not there yet, and that's OK. You have to be comfortable in your own skin. There's not a lot of Villanovas. A lot of programs have gone down and gone back up, but not Villanova. They're great every year.”

Coach Sampson was born in Laurinberg, N.C. and raised in Pembroke, N.C. — the heart of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. He’s Lumbee through and through, and out of the NCAA's 353 Division I basketball programs, Sampson is the only Native American head coach. 

Sampson has been coaching basketball for over 40 years, coaching eight years in the NBA and then for various NCAA men’s programs, including Michigan State University, Montana Tech University, Washington State University, University of Oklahoma, Indiana University, and the University of Houston.

He is one of only 15 coaches in NCAA history to lead four or more schools to the NCAA tournament and has been named National Coach of the Year three times. 

Coach Sampson's son, Kellen Samspon, is Houston's lead assistant coach.

A victory on Saturday night will not only get the Houston into the Final Four for the second consecutive year, but it would be Sampson's 700th career college coaching victory.

More Stories Like This

MMIP Red Dress Installation Vandalized in Alaska
NCAI Mid Year Underway on Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Homelands
Native News Weekly (June 3, 2023): D.C. Briefs
House Passes Bipartisan Debt Ceiling Deal; How Native American Members of Congress Voted
History Made as First Navajo Appointed U.S. Federal Judge in California

Native News is free to read.

We hope you enjoyed the story you've just read. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps.  Most readers donate between $10 and $25 to help us cover the costs of salaries, travel and maintaining our digital platforms. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to join the Founder's Circle. All donations help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected].