NBA Draft Blog Interview with Reggie Hamilton

In what’s been the norm over the last decade or so in the NBA, there has been an ever-increasing obsession with player’s height and wingspan, and plenty of other measurables which tell you all you want to know about a player.  Well not all, because it misses the most important things – can they play the game well and do they have the heart and motivation of a winner.  If you went by the first criteria, you would probably ignore Oakland’s Reggie Hamilton.  Listed at 5’11, Hamilton is not going to appeal to those who think that you need to have big guards to be able to score and compete.  If that is you, you are making a mistake.  Hamilton was the leading scorer in Division 1 basketball last year, but there was more to it than that.  Look at how he makes his teammates better, how he plays defense, how he never stops playing hard.  Hamilton is a competitor and he isn’t going to quit if things are down.  I had the chance to talk to Hamilton recently about a variety of topics, including his game, Oakland’s perception (even he had friends who thought he was out playing in California), his use of Twitter and much more:

Reggie on how his game developed after his transfer (from UMKC) to Oakland:

“You never know what is going to happen in situations like that.  I was taking a chance, almost like starting all over again.  The year off (sitting out after transfer) helped me.  I had a chance to learn more about my new teammates and myself.  I just worked on getting better.  Once I got to play, the system was a great fit for me and I became more confident as a player.”

 

Reggie on his strengths as a player: 

“My biggest strength is being a positive and energetic player.  When you play with a lot of energy and you are enjoying the game, it becomes contagious.  It makes one player the same, and it just keeps going, until the whole team has a spark.  I would also have to say passing is a big strength of mine, finding my teammates in the right spot.”

 

Reggie on what parts of his game he still wants to improve:

“I need to be more consistent.  If you are consistent in whatever you do, it will always lead to better things.  So I want to be more consistent with my overall game – shooting, scoring, defense, everything.”

 

Reggie on his experience at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament:

“It was a great experience, especially since most people thought I would never make it there.  It helped to be around a bunch of guys who have all been through that same thing.  Overall, everything about it was great.  I’m glad I was there because a lot of players never get to experience an event like that.”

 

Reggie on how he thinks the drafting of Keith Benson last season helps him:

“For my sake, I hope it does help me (laughing).  I think Keith’s play and being drafted opened up a lot of eyes to Oakland.  Hopefully it will lead to a team taking a chance on me.”

Reggie on his role at the next level:

“It will sort of feel like being a freshman again.  You want to go in there and pay your dues and show them what you can do.  I just want to go and show a team what I am capable of.”

 

Reggie on college athletes and social media:

“I love Twitter.  It is a great way to make people smile.  I use it to bring happiness to people, to interact with the fans, and show myself to a wider audience.  It’s a great tool in building yourself as a brand, if you use it the right way.  I have no problem showing who I am, whether you know me or not.  I try to make sure and answer everyone who contacts me.  You never know what that could do.  It could make a little kid’s day, and especially in places in inner-city Chicago, it could really help a kid out and hopefully keep them on the right path.  Just a few kind words can change your life.”

Reggie on what he wants teams and fans to know about him:

“I am a hard worker, a positive person.  Wherever I go, I want to be a part of the tea, the city, the community.  I want to go in and earn my part; I’m not going to be some rookie disrespecting the veterans.  I am a competitor and I will always play hard.  Even if I ‘m on the bench, I will do my best to best guy at being on that bench.  Even if I am the guy in a suit sitting behind the bench, I will do it the best way I know how.”

I want to thank Reggie for his time and I wish him the best of luck as he looks to fulfill his dream of getting to the NBA.  I also want to thank his agent, Austin Walton of Walton Sports Management Group for setting up this interview.  Hamilton is one of those players that you just want to root for.  He led college basketball in scoring last season, but in the time we spoke, scoring rarely was mentioned.  There is a lot more to his game if you sit down and watch the film.  He is a leader, he sets his teammates up well, and he can be a pest on the defensive end.  You may be a foot taller than him, but he isn’t going to back down, and what team wouldn’t want a player like that?

 

Check back in the coming weeks for more great interviews and scouting reports as we head towards the 2012 NBA Draft.  Follow me on Twitter – @NBADraftBlog – for updates, leave your comments below, or feel free to email me at ed@nbadraftblog.com