Four-star 2018 wing Jairus Hamilton (Cannon School/Concord, N.C.) was a known name entering the April live sessions, but afterwards his stock has risen even further. The 6-foot-8, 215-pounder averaged 12 points, four boards, two assists and two steals for Team Loaded on the Adidas Gauntlet, and procured four new offers in the process.
In addition to earlier verbals from Wake Forest, Va Tech, Tennessee and hometown North Carolina, Hamilton landed South Carolina, Baylor, Florida and Maryland. Plus, he’s on the radar of numerous bluebloods and elite programs through the country.
“Honestly, I think I’ve been playing really well and I proved myself this spring,” said Hamilton, who mainly hangs around the perimeter and is known for his 3-point stroke. “I dominated a lot of games, just trying to help my team win on the floor. I’ve been working on everything from my ball-handling to my shooting to different ways to score to my lateral quickness to my defense to just getting stronger. It’s all starting to pay off for me.”
Hamilton said so many coaches have come through Cannon School’s gym, in addition to those watching him on the AAU circuit, he couldn’t remember them all. But the sophomore specifically recalled assistants from UNC, Maryland, Wake, Va Tech, UVA, Baylor, Florida, South Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky and Tennessee stopping by.
“But, honestly, every school catches my eye right now. I don’t really have any dream schools or any offers I’m looking for,” Hamilton said. “Honestly, I haven’t even really talked with my parents about colleges yet. I’m just a sophomore and looking to get better every day.”
Maybe so, but Hamilton admitted there are certain aspects of various programs that have grabbed his attention. He’s been through Chapel Hill, N.C., multiple times and seems to have taken a liking to the nearby Tar Heels early. Additionally, he’s trekked through Wake Forest on more than one occasion, while Hamilton has also taken in Duke, South Carolina and UVA.
“There’s a lot to like about the schools I’ve seen, but there’s still a lot more I have to get to. There are so many schools recruiting me, and I have to figure it out with my coach and my parents which ones I can visit next,” Hamilton said. “Every school that’s on me wants me up for an open gym and to spend time on campus. I’m open to visiting any school right now.”
Of course, before Hamilton even reached high school, he ventured over to the University of Maryland, whose staff offered the 6-8 wing in early May. Hamilton's family lived in Hyattsville, Md., for a year in middle school before moving back to North Carolina.
“Three years ago my family moved up there, because my dad, who is a preacher, had a job up there,” said Hamilton, who briefly lived in Baltimore as well. “We lived right down the street from Maryland, and I actually got to go to a few games in [Xfinity Center]. I dropped in every once in awhile, and I loved it. It’s a great arena and a great place to play. I liked how new it was and just a the facilities there. It was very nice.”
Several years later, Hamilton is now in touch with UMD-area recruiter Cliff Warren. Hamilton has just begun developing a relationship with the Maryland assistant, but noted he’d love to chat with Warren and the rest of the Terps’ staff during a campus visit in the future.
“Maryland is a good school with good coaches,” Hamilton said. “I’ve watched them play for a good period of time, and I’ve kept watching them because I lived up there before. They’ve always been big and have been successful in recent years. I think it’s a great school and a great program.
“So Maryland is one school I’m going to be keeping in mind. But, like I said, I’m very open right now. I’m just looking for a place where I can further my education and have the best opportunities to develop in my career.”