Tommy Hamilton IV is close to being in the best shape of his life and it certainly looked like that as Hamilton ran the floor with the DePaul men’s basketball team on Saturday morning.
Hamilton has come a long way from where he was tipping the scales in June till now.
“Last year I played in between 285 and 290 (pounds),” said Hamilton. “I just weighed in yesterday at 253. I’m trying to get to 250 by the first game and go from there.”
DePaul coach Oliver Purnell is pleased with the progress that his sophomore center has made.
“You’ve got to give him credit for making up his mind to first get in better shape, but then putting the time in,” said Purnell. “It’s one thing to say it, it’s another thing to put the time in. I think he’s matured a lot, but he’s got a ways to go. He’s shown that he’s so much more mature than he was last year.”
Shedding the pounds wasn’t an easy task for Hamilton, but was something that he focused on throughout the offseason.
“Sacrifice man, it was just a sacrifice,” Tommy said. “I had to sacrifice a lot. I was just working out really hard. I was eating better. I just had to sacrifice. A lot of things that I wanted to do, I couldn’t do, because I wanted to get better.”
Hamilton was blessed with the encouragement and motivation that he received from his support structure. Also helping Hamilton was DePaul strength and conditioning coach John Wagle, who was promoted into his position in June.
“Everybody, my family, and some good friends who motivated me all summer,” said Tommy. “Our strength and conditioning coach that we got this year, John, he’s been helping me a lot this year trying to tone it up. I see him once, twice or three times a week.”
“From a coaching staff standpoint, we’re just there to encourage him,” said Purnell. “His mom encourages him. Tommy does a lot of working out on his own. He’s connected with our strength and conditioning guy, John Wagle. John came on right after summer school started. I think his teammates have encouraged him to say that we need him, but it starts with him.”
Tommy averaged 7.7 points and 4.8 rebounds while playing 24.6 minutes per game in his debut season for the Blue Demons. Hamilton was named to the Big East All-Rookie Team along with teammate Billy Garrett, Jr. Hamilton expects to do even better this year than he did as a freshman.
“This upcoming year I think will be a great year for us,” said Hamilton. “I just wanted to come back and be able to give the team my all. I felt like I owed my teammates that this year.”
Losing the excess weight is allowing Hamilton to be able to do so much more on the court now.
“I can be more efficient,” said Tommy. “I can do more now. I can go longer. I just want to get on the glass more offensively and defensively and try to alter some shots at the rim, since I can jump a little bit now.”
Hamilton also displayed some good ballhandling skills in Saturday’s practice.
“I think my handle’s coming along pretty well, I’m just trying to tighten it up.”
That’s just the beginning of what Hamilton can achieve this season.
“I got a year under my belt now,” added Tommy. “I know what to expect. This year I’ll be more confident and I’ll know what to expect and just try to be a leader for my teammates and lead by example.”
Hamilton Undergoes Offseason Transformation
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