After a long recruitment for the UTEP coaching staff, all the hard work has paid off as star guard Isaac Hamilton committed to the Miners Friday afternoon in front of a national TV audience on ESPNU.
During the interview with ESPN, Hamilton said the decision came down to relationships.
"A lot of people don't know this but Tim Floyd has been a close friend to the family," Hamilton said. "He coached my uncle (Kevin Hamilton) at UTEP and he has been real good friends with my grandmother who just passed away. I just felt I should go with someone I should trust and feel that I know so that's why I went with UTEP."
Hamilton's national letter of intent was received and validated by athletic department officials Saturday.
Hamilton is arguably the best recruit that UTEP has ever landed and his commitment will not only be an immediate upgrade to the 2013-2014 team, but will prove to other top flight recruits that the UTEP basketball program is on the rise on a national level.
"This is a great day for UTEP," Miner head coach Tim Floyd said in a press release from the school. "I feel like we have just signed a young man who will play in the NBA. We intend to play Isaac at the point guard position. We see a lot of Seth Curry in him - a big guard who can score. Isaac is not only a really capable scorer and shooter, but has the instincts to make players around him better. We feel like with Isaac and McKenzie Moore, we're returning to how our teams looked at USC with big point guards like O.J. Mayo [Dallas Mavericks] and Gabe Pruitt [Boston Celtics) who can play together and play off of each other."
After posting a picture on Twitter wearing a light blue sweater and gold bow tie, it seemed as if he would choose UCLA, one of the teams named as a finalist by Rivals men's basketball national recruiting analysit Eric Bossi.
That wasn't the case.
"My sister's friend tried to go shopping for me and she bought all of this stuff. She just thought it would look nice," Hamilton said of the clothing.
The top-25 ranked Hamilton is a future NBA player and has the potential to be one of the most prolific scorers in UTEP history. He comes from a basketball family. Older brother Jordan Hamilton was the no. 26 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft out of the University of Texas and currently plays for the Denver Nuggets. Older brother Gary Hamilton played at Miami (Fla.) for four years before enjoying a pro career overseas. Isaac is the nephew of Kevin Hamilton, who played for the Miners from 1982-86 and was a member of three NCAA Tournament teams.
"I'm just happy to go there and be part of UTEP."
Information from UTEP Athletics and ESPNU was used in this article.
Josh Puga can be reached at [email protected] or you can follow him on Twitter at @jpuga1966 . Make sure to follow Miner Illustrated on Twitter at @minermaniac for more up-to-date news and information about UTEP.