Allen Sampson can take the heat.
“It’s not bad over here,” Sampson said after completing a 90-minute, mid-day workout in the Manoa heat. “Florida’s weather is way hotter. It’s humid. You sweat a lot. At halftime in high school, I had to put my jersey in the dryer because it was so wet. . . . I like the wind here. It helps a lot.”
Sampson, who was raised in Tampa Bay, is preparing for his second season at UH.
His first goal is to increase his weight, which hasn’t been easy during the sweat-inducing workouts.
“I’m eating a lot of rice,” said Sampson, who now weighs 148 pounds. His goal is to reach 150 for the start of training camp in August. He weighed 141 when he first reported to UH last summer.
One thing that has helped is switching from a widely used protein drink.
“For some reason, my stomach couldn’t take it,” said Sampson, who believes he is lactose intolerant. “I actually lost weight from drinking it. I’m drinking different (protein drinks) now.”
He also has found a suitable UnderArmour shoe. Last year, he had difficulty finding one that fit comfortably. He ended up wearing bright-green soccer shoes.
“The green ones were light, but these” — he points to his new white shoes — “have better traction,” he said.
That has been helpful in running routes at his new position. He was used as a slotback last season. But during spring training he worked out at left wideout. The intent was to give him more options, but now it appears the move might be permanent.
“I feel like a wideout now,” Sampson said. “I feel I can spread the field a little bit more.”
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UH baseball fans hope there’s no symbolism in the NCAA tournament field being announced on Memorial Day.