The Northern Arizona men's basketball team opens its home schedule against Sam Houston State on Saturday at 4:35 p.m. Get to know freshman Blake Hamilton.
FLAGSAFF, Ariz. - Blake Hamilton was one of the first targets of Northern Arizona Head Coach Jack Murphy and he made a quick impression on the 6-5 guard from Pasadena (Calif.) High School.
"The recruiting process was real tough," said Hamilton. "Coach Murphy was the first coach that offered me on the first call. It was a big reason that I came here. I like Coach Murphy's energy and how family oriented he seemed. He is a family-oriented man. It really caught my eye and that is why picked Northern Arizona."
Hamilton was named a Pasadena Star News All-Area selection after scoring 18.8 points per game, while grabbing 11.7 rebounds with four blocks per game as a senior for Coach Tim Tucker. He scored 25 points and grabbed six rebounds along with four steals and three assists in a second round state playoff game, following it up with 22 points in the next contest. He helped his team to the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AAA state title.
"Blake is an outstanding athlete. He is a great young man," said Murphy. "He was voted one of the top school athletes at his high school in Pasadena. Since he has been out here, he has been a model citizen and has had a great work ethic. He has come in with bright eyes. He is excited to get going."
Hamilton, who had a 3.33 grade point average in high school, is taking criminal justice 101 while adapting to life on campus in Flagstaff.
"It has given me time to adjust with classes and work," said Hamilton. "If you want to get good grades you have to do the work. It is an adjustment. Basketball wise the elevation is something you have to get used to."
"I had a connection with them from Day 1," said Hamilton. "We are team-oriented. It has gone real good. The older guys are real good. We should be real good this year. I am expecting big things out of us this year."
He hopes to have a big impact in his first season.
"I am a real athletic guard and streaky shooter," said Hamilton. "If my shot gets going I am going to make a lot of shots. I like to rebound, play defense and get out in the lanes – doing things that make it easier for the team."
Hamilton, who is a self-described comedian, likes the group coming into the program. They want to be a part of the resurgence of the program and are looking forward to the opportunity.
"We don't think of it as pressure," said Hamilton about the attention on the newcomers. "We have to come in and get to work. We are trying to help NAU back on top and hopefully that is what we are going to do."
Murphy thinks Hamilton has the potential to be a fan favorite.
"He is one of our best athletes," said Murphy. "He is very long on the wing and can handle it. He is skilled and he has a lot of room to grow. He is only 17 and does not turn 18 until this fall. He is one of the players with the most upside on the team."
Born: October 26, 1994
What's on TV: Everybody Hates Chris
In my IPod: Meek Mill, Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Rocky
Favorite Flicks: He Got Game, Love & Basketball
On your walls at home: Nothing
Love to trade places for a day with: Myself
Favorite City to Visit: Las Vegas
Favorite athlete to watch in another sport: Messi
Talent I'd most like to have: To Sing
Dream date: Christina Milian
My greatest love: Basketball and Mom
My hero: Kevin Durant
My bucket list: Go to Paris
My motto: All white mayback