Owls' Hamilton adds another honor to team list
The Oakton men's basketball team does not have permanent possession of the District 4 Player of the Week Award, although it may seem that way.
Freshman guard Pat Hamilton recently became the third Owl this season to earn the honor, according to a Jan. 18 news release on oakton.edu. He got the award for averaging 27.5 points over two games during the week of Jan. 10. The award was announced in a recent Region IV National Junior College Athletic Association report, the news release said.
Hamilton joined teammates Tafari Beckford and Ryan Matthew as Owls who have reaped that particular recognition this season. Matthew and Beckford have each won the award twice, with Beckford's latest honor being announced Jan. 26 on oakton.edu.
In an interview with the North Cook News, Hamilton thanked his teammates for finding him for open shots.
“I know they're proud of me, but I've got to thank them,” he said.
Owls Head Coach Mick Reuter echoed the squad's teamwork spirit in an email interview with the North Cook News.
“Having three separate players honored as players of the week is a testament to team's work ethic and unselfishness,” he said. “The team plays as one cohesive unit and has embraced a true team concept. They continue to support each other on and off the court.”
Hamilton's big week included making 14 3-pointers combined in the two games, which featured a 94-58 win over McHenry County College on Jan. 10 at home and a 102-96 overtime victory against Elgin Community College on Jan. 12 in Elgin.
Through Jan. 25, according to the Owls' team page on njcaa.org, Hamilton averaged 11.8 points and 4.7 rebounds a game in his first 21 games of the season.
Hamilton, a Glenview North High School graduate who transferred to Oakton after initially going to Wisconsin-Whitewater, said he has become a better shooter since the beginning of the season, when he struggled with his shooting. He said that he has improved his game across the board, as well.
“I think I'm making better decisions defensively with our press and not gambling on much on defense as I was early in the year,” he said. “The coaches have really helped me just to stay disciplined on defense and boxing out. My rebounding has gotten better.”
Hamilton was at Wisconsin-Whitewater in the fall of 2015 to play basketball there, but got hurt before the season started, he said.
“Pat has been starting for us since the first preseason game; therefore, his adjustment to college basketball was accelerated,” Reuter said. “He was thrown into the fire and responded as expected. He struggled at times, but broke through some walls to achieve his current level of play.”
While he was back home one time, Hamilton was not sure he wanted to return. He checked out Oakton, and liked the coaches, the players and the culture. Hamilton transferred to Oakton last spring.
Getting better every day and competing against the best are the aspects of basketball Hamilton said he likes the most.
“That to me is, like, the coolest part about the game, is just meeting new guys and competing against them and just learning,” he said.
District 4 includes Waubonsee Community College, Moraine Valley Community College, Bryant and Stratton College, Prairie State College, Morton College, McHenry County College and the College of Lake County, according to region4sports.com.
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