Aug. 31, 2017
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The UTA men's basketball program significantly enhanced its inside presence this season with the addition of 7-foot graduate transfer Johnny Hamilton.
A native of Rio Claro, Trinidad, Hamilton earned a bachelor's degree in sociology with a major in criminology in August from Virginia Tech, where he played just three games as a senior after suffering a thumb injury. He began his college career at Jacksonville (Texas) College, where he was among the national leaders in blocked shots. He has one season of eligibility remaining as a graduate student at UTA pursuing a master's degree in criminology and criminal justice.
"Johnny is an extremely athletic big man who has a chance to be among the elite centers in the Sun Belt Conference," said UTA head coach Scott Cross. "At 7-feet, he obviously has tremendous height and length. But, more importantly, he has good skills at both ends of the floor, great timing and will be an elite defender for us. He is mature, experienced and gives us the flexibility and depth to be very aggressive on the defensive end of the floor. We are very, very excited to have Johnny in our program and I cannot wait to start coaching him here at UT Arlington."
Hamilton, who only began playing basketball at the age of 16, started his college career under head coach Jody Bailey at Jacksonville. As a sophomore in 2014-15, he averaged 9.0 points and 8.9 rebounds and shot 61.7 percent from the field. He averaged 4.3 blocked shots per game and registered four or more blocks 16 times.
While at Virginia Tech, he played 17 games as a junior and averaged 1.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 7.2 minutes per game. Last season, as a senior, he played in just three games before suffering a torn flexor tendon in his left thumb.
Hamilton joins a UTA program that has won 52 games in the last two seasons, the second-highest total among NCAA Division I programs in the state of Texas. The Mavericks are coming off a season in which they went 27-9, won the Sun Belt regular season title and fell just four points shy of advancing to the National Invitation Tournament quarterfinals.
The Mavericks return, arguably, one of the most dynamic guard-forward combos in the country in reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year Kevin Hervey and program assist record holder Erick Neal. The team's experienced roster features six returning seniors that have played a total of 452 career games at UTA.
Season tickets to attend UTA's 30 men and women's basketball games at state-of-the-art College Park Center are currently on sale online at UTATickets.com, in person at the College Park Center Box Office or by calling (817) 272-9595. Single game tickets are scheduled to go on sale in late Sept.
The Mavericks are scheduled to open the season on Saturday, Nov. 11 against Loyola Marymount during the school's annual homecoming weekend. UTA also features non-conference home games against Florida Gulf Coast, North Texas, Rice, Cal Poly and UT Dallas. For a complete schedule, click here.
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