Hometown Heroes: Kelvin Sampson is coaching up the Coogs on and off the court

HOUSTON — Kelvin Sampson makes sure his team has pride in playing for the University of Houston.

"First of all, it's for our university-our university first and our city second," the UH men's basketball coach said. "We represent the University of Houston, but ultimately we represent Houston, but also their mothers and fathers and their families and the people that have helped them along the way."

Sampson coached in the NBA for six seasons before rejoining the college ranks at UH in 2014.

"I learned a lot in the NBA, and I was very appreciative of it. I could have easily stayed in the NBA, but I think I'm most comfortable with kids in college. I think that's where I'm most comfortable, influencing and impacting kids' lives."

Sampson said this year's team has a chance to do something special.

"I think this team is our best team so far. In the last couple seasons, I think we've gotten better and better. We've had some great wins, but this team has a chance to knock on the door. A lot of things have to go your way. If we can stay healthy and get a few breaks, this team could play in the tournament."

You can watch Sampson's Cougars take on Saint Louis University on Saturday at 7 p.m. on CW 39.