Isaac Hamilton was an All-American player at St. John Bosco High. (Patrick T. Fallon / For the Times /March 2, 2013)
Isaac Hamilton, a college freshman who starred at Bellflower St. John Bosco High, is attending classes at UCLA and has accepted a basketball scholarship, the school announced Friday.
Hamilton, a guard, signed a letter of intent with Texas El Paso but tried to get a release from that commitment this summer. UTEP Coach Tim Floyd denied Hamilton’s request and an appeal by Hamilton to the National Letter of Intent Committee also failed.
Hamilton has now appealed again, his father, Greg, said.
If the appeal is approved, Hamilton could play for UCLA in the upcoming season. If it is denied, he would have to sit out a season.
In a statement, UCLA Coach Steve Alford said, "We are very excited to welcome Isaac to the Bruin family. He comes from a great family, a strong high school program here in Los Angeles and had an exceptional career as a McDonald's All-American. He is a big, versatile guard and will fit well with our system of play."
As a senior at St. John Bosco, Hamilton averaged 23.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.1 steals a game to help the Braves reach the Southern Section Division 3A championship game.
Hamilton said in his appeal that he wanted to play nearer to home because his grandmother is ill.
September 26, 2013
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics
Release: Thursday 09/26/2013
Release: Thursday 09/26/2013
LOS ANGELES – UCLA men’s basketball Head Coach Steve Alford announced today the signing of Isaac Hamilton, a 6-foot-5 freshman guard from Los Angeles.
A graduate of St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, Calif.) in 2013, Hamilton began his fall quarter classes and signed a scholarship offer from UCLA on Thursday.
“We are very excited to welcome Isaac to the Bruin family,” Alford said. “He comes from a great family, a strong high school program here in Los Angeles and he had an exceptional career as a McDonald’s All-American; an honor that encompasses skill, academics and character. Isaac is a big, versatile guard and will fit well with our system of play. We are excited he is a Bruin today.”
Hamilton is rated nationally by Rivals.com as the No. 14 overall player in his high school class and the No. 3 shooting guard. He is ranked the No. 32 overall player in his class by ESPN.com.
“It’s hard to put into words how happy I am to be part of the UCLA basketball program,” Hamilton said. “UCLA is one the elite schools in the country and it is an honor to be a Bruin. I am excited to start classes today and I can’t wait to practice with my teammates and ultimately compete with them for Coach Alford.”
As a senior, Hamilton averaged 23.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.1 steals per game, earned McDonald’s All-America honors and helped guide St. John Bosco to the CIF Southern Section Division III-A title in 2013. As a junior, Hamilton captured all-state honors from Cal-Hi Sports after averaging 24.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists and helping the Braves advance to the CIF-SS Division III-A regional final.
Steve Alford’s splashiest recruiting move yet became official this week, as UCLA officially announced the signing of five-star guard Isaac Hamilton.
Ranked as Rivals.com’s No. 14 player in the 2013 class, the St. John Bosco standout averaged 23.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists last season en route to a CIF division title.
The Bruins announced that the McDonald’s All-American signed a scholarship offer Thursday, UCLA’s first day of classes.
“Isaac is a big, versatile guard and will fit well with our system of play,” Alford said in a statement. “We are excited he is a Bruin today.”
Whether or not he’ll contribute this upcoming season is still unclear. After breaking his letter of intent with UTEP, Hamilton is currently appealing for a chance to play immediately. If that isn’t granted, he will have to sit out the 2013-14 season.
The former Miners signee asked out of his commitment earlier this summer, citing a desire to be closer to his ailing grandmother in Los Angeles. UTEP coach Tim Floyd refused to release the guard from his letter of intent this summer, and accused USC coach Andy Enfield of tampering with his recruit. The National Letter of Intent committee denied Hamilton’s first request for a release earlier this month.
Undeterred, Hamilton enrolled at UCLA earlier this month.
“It’s hard to put into words how happy I am to be part of the UCLA basketball program,” Hamilton said in a statement. “UCLA is one the elite schools in the country and it is an honor to be a Bruin. I am excited to start classes today and I can’t wait to practice with my teammates and ultimately compete with them for Coach Alford.”
His father, Greg, told the El Paso Times that the family has hired an attorney to help them explore appeal options.
The eligibility of another Alford recruit, Wanaah Bail, is also in question. Bail originally committed to Texas Tech in 2012, but left that summer and has yet to play college basketball elswhere. The athletic 6-foot-9 forward was ranked No. 115 nationally in 2012 by Rivals.com.
Welcome to UCLA, Isaac!