Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Daniel Hamilton's mom: "He's going back to (UConn)"

Been getting some emails (and some strange comments on the blog) about the prospects of Daniel Hamilton and Amida Brimah electing to leave UConn and take their chances at the 2015 NBA draft.

It appears UConn fans have nothing to worry about.

Brimah's legal guardian said late last week that Brimah isn't thinking at all about throwing his hat in the ring of the draft. And on Tuesday, I chatted with Daniel's mom, Karen, on the phone, and she told me that her son has no plans to enter this year's draft, either.

"He'll be going back to school," Karen said, matter-of-factly.

And yes, that means UConn, not another program.

"He's definitely happy," she continued. "He wants the opportunity to continue to get better. He wants to concentrate on his studies. Those are the types of things that we care about."

Hamilton, of course, lost his grandmother, Lucine Noble (Karen's mom), recently. It's been tough on him, especially being so far away from his Los Angeles home. It was a decline in Lucine's health a couple of years ago that precipitated Isaac, Daniel's older brother, to break his commitment from UTEP and play closer to home at UCLA.

Karen, who wasn't able to get out to a UConn game this year because of her mother's deteriorating health, has done her best to comfort Daniel from afar.

"We've been on the phone every night," Karen said. "I keep telling him, (take) one day at a time."

Karen added that Daniel wants to improve not only as a basketball player, but as a person -- something easier to do at college than playing professional basketball.

"It's the mental toughness and things you have to deal with," she said. "It's not just basketball, it's maturing. When you're in a college setting ... we're talking about the difference between going to school and being in the pros. You can do what you need to do and get better either way, but you can't get your college experience back."

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