Hamilton inducted into Walsh Athletic Wall of Fame

| February 21, 2018

Contributed | Beacon

NORTH CANTON – Jason Hamilton, a 1998 graduate of Coshocton High School was recently inducted into Walsh University’s Athletic Wall of Fame.

“When I saw all those great athletes’ names on the wall I didn’t know how I would measure up to them,” he said. “It took a lot of hard work and dedication from where I started. This was a huge honor. I was very humbled by it and the evening was a class act. It was nice too getting to go back and see some of the people I haven’t seen in 15 years.”

Hamilton, who was a point guard, played basketball for the Cavs from 1999 to 2003. His junior season his points-per-game average jumped to 16.3 points while he grabbed just over 3.5 rebounds a game and earned Honorable Mention All-AMC accolades. During his senior session he averaged 18.7 points per game and was a First Team All-AMC selection and Honorable Mention All-American. He also earned defensive player of the year honors his junior and senior year.

He is especially proud of his defensive honors.

Contributed | Beacon

“The late and great Coach Loy (from Walsh) passed away from a rare liver disease and before he died he gave me one of the biggest compliments I’ve gotten,” Hamilton said. “I scored almost 1300 points, but three days before he (Loy) passed I was in the hospital visiting him and we were talking. He told me, ‘Jason you scored a lot of points but you are one of the best on ball defenders I’ve ever coached.’ I was a scorer, but in his eyes I was a way better defender than scorer.”

Hamilton’s basketball career, however, started way before his years at Walsh. He was sure to thank everyone who helped him along the way in Coshocton.

“I give a lot of thanks and appreciation to Coach Purtell and Grant Fauver, Dan Arney and Scott Philabaum,” Hamilton said. “They were all instrumental to my high school career and made big impressions on me. It all started for me in Coshocton.”

Hamilton first began playing basketball in the fifth grade.

“At an early age I loved basketball,” he said. “I just loved being on the court. I knew it was my sport. I think back to my junior high days and Coach Arney had a lot of influence on me. I learned a lot of the fundamentals because of him. Scott Philabaum also worked with me and pushed me to my limits. I’ve always respected him.”

In high school Hamilton was on the USA Today’s top 25 list for high school basketball players in Ohio.

“Coach Purtell and Grant Fauver were very instrumental in working with me in high school and making me the player I was,” he said.

Hamilton also credits his teammates for helping him succeed.

“In high school I played with Clint Moore, Mitchell Ewing, Russell Counts and TJ Darr and I also want to thank JT Johnson, Geno Swigert and Chris Thornsley. Those are the guys I always remember playing ball with. I really want to give respect to the coaches back home and players I played with.”

Hamilton graduated from Walsh with a degree in criminal justice and criminology. He is now a probation officer supervisor with Stark County Family Court.

“Basketball gave me life lessons that are important in my line of work,” Hamilton said. “I work with a very good team (at work) and just like in sports you have to work with your team. Most of the times I’m the leader, but I can also be a role player. There are a lot of things from basketball that I apply to my personal life. Sports teach you about working with others, getting along with others, loyalty and time management.”

His advice to younger athletes is to work hard, no matter what.

“Things are going to come up and I think sometimes you have to fail to succeed,” Hamilton said. “Never give up. Certain people may tell you can’t do this or that or go to college and play sports. People told me that, but I left Walsh an All-American.”

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    Category: Adult, Sports

    Josie Sellers

    About the Author ()

    I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!