Now the 6-foot-9 and 230 pounder is one of the top players in the 2013 class, and someone who combines a unique skill set with his tremendous size.
As a freshman some questioned Hamilton's commitment to the game because he didn't always seem to be playing hard, and was sometimes injured. Well Hamilton has taken that to heart and has gotten himself into the best shape of his life.
"I feel like I am in way better shape," said Hamilton. "I feel like I am getting more athletic and getting off the ground easier. I give it all to Coach Chinn (Coleman). He runs me to death, and also I think I have been eating better."
Hamilton admits now that he is in shape the game is coming easier to him.
"My wind and being able to run for longer periods of time are my biggest improvements," said Hamilton. "Also I think I have improved my rebounding."
When it comes to recruiting Hamilton is keeping everything at an arm's length. He says he isn't aware of all of his scholarship offers, and hasn't really been talking to coaches. Still the big man did take an unofficial visit to Illinois for their midnight madness event, and also knows what he will be looking for in a school when the time comes.
"Basically I am looking at how a school plays their bigs," said Hamilton. "I am just looking for a school that will develop me and fit me as a player."
There has been speculation that Hamilton would like to stay close to home given how close he is with his family, and while he isn't positive on that quite yet, he does admit that family is very important to him.
"I want to stay home, but then again it is a maturing thing and I am becoming a young man," Hamilton explained. "I only have me my mom and my sister, so I think I want to stay close to home so they can see me."
For now the No. 11 player in the nation continues to work on his game and get into better shape. His Whitney Young team is one of the best in Chicago and Hamilton has been a big part of that as just a sophomore.