You could see it immediately. Playing in his first organized games since May, Tommy Hamilton showed off a trimmed down, athletic physique. The formerly stocky 6'-9" post player was asked how he did it.
"I stopped eating honey buns and stuff. I had to give up the good food and stick to the program they had me on at Attack."
The staff at Attack Athletics, run by famed trainer Tim Grover, has played a major role in Hamilton taking more pride in his body and its conditioning.
"I gained more confidence in myself. I fell off a little bit during the summer time, but the guys at Attack took care of me really well. They are really running me and trying to get me in shape. Everything I am doing is mixed with cardio."
Playing with his Whitney Young High School team at the Mac Irvin Fire Back-To-School tournament, he also demonstrated an improved playing style, one more fitting to his size and potential. He showed improved aggressiveness in the post, knocking his defender backward and either scoring or advancing to the charity stripe.
The ankle injury that hounded him all summer appeared much improved. He was asked how it is coming along.
"It is still not 100% yet, but it is way better than it was during the summer."
Hamilton says the most difficult part of the process was not being on the court with his Mac Irvin Fire teammates.
"It was very hard. I actually wanted to come back and play while I was hurt. I wasn't hurt where I couldn't play, but I was hurt enough that I shouldn't be playing."
The Whitney Young junior's game has developed as well. He sites an intangible aspect as most improved.
"I think I grew up a lot. With this team, we have a bunch of young guys. I gained a lot of maturity."
His leadership and production this season will be key for the Dolphins.
"Everybody is a leader on our team. There is not just one guy. It is not just me or 'Big O' (Jahlil Okafor). Everybody is a leader!"
Hamilton says his goal for this season is short and simple.
"I am trying to get a ring!"
Whitney Young might have the most intimidating front court in the nation with Hamilton and #1 ranked 2014 prospect Okafor.
"I love playing with him. He is my younger bro. He takes a lot of pressure off me. The whole defense is not just focusing on me. They are focusing on him too, so it frees opportunities up for me."
He has always held his recruiting tight to the vest and continues to do so. Hamilton did open up about Illinois though. The Big 10 program will be hosting him on a visit soon.
"I am going down there on October 15th for the Ohio State football game."
He is looking forward to visiting and learning more about the program.
"I really haven't seen it yet. I've been down there of course, but I haven't really been around the guys. I am looking forward to that."
"We work out at Attack together everyday, and I have to hear it from him everyday! He is trying to get me to come down. He is trying to get it from me now. He is like my brother. I love that guy."
Any possibility the Attack Athletics dream team of Hamilton, James, and Jabari Parker could all end up at the same school?
"We haven't really talked about it yet. I think something big is going to come up where we all are going to get together."
Another hot topic is a timeline for Hamilton's decision.
"I don't know when I'm going to commit. There is no timeline. I will just do it when I feel comfortable."