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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Blake on tour

thought I would put this on the blog now.. It will run in the Press Friday or Saturday



By TONY GRAHAM
STAFF WRITER
Blake Hamilton has delivered dunks in Poland, hauled down rebounds in Portugal, blocked shots in France, and won a championship in Austria.
For Hamilton, 2004-2005 Northeast Conference Basketball Player of the Year for Monmouth University, who now resides in Long Branch, playing the game he grew up with has turned into a professional job the last two winters.
A fun job to be sure, he said, but none the less a job.
""The process is business,'' said Hamilton earlier this week after a Jersey Shore Basketball League game.
His 21.7 points and 8.9 rebounds a game this summer helped Stern's Trailer gain a top seed in the league playoffs and an 8:30 p.m. game Tuesday at St. Rose High School, Belmar.
""It's (basketball) still a game but you have priorities to take care of, responsibilities, it's a job,'' he said. ""You have to be a good player for the team you play for. You've got to work, you've got to produce.''
And if you don't perform to your bosses' liking the result can be unemployment. Since leaving Monmouth as the school's No. 11 all-time scorer with 1,433 points (No. 6 in Division I), the 6-7 Hamilton said he has twice been cut. That part, he said, was not fun.
""It's a like job when you get fired,'' he said. "'Once you're fired you go home for a day, you put your head down, but after that it starts all over again.
"'It's like basketball. You know you play a crummy game and then you have to come back and play a good game.
"'You don't lose confidence ever,'' he said. ""You keep shooting.''
Michael Hart, Hamilton's agent and president of Hart Sports Management Group LL.C, Point Pleasant, has kept Hamilton shooting.
That's what Hart did last winter when he landed his client, who had been cut in France, a roster spot with Austria's Allianz Swans Gmunden.
Hamilton had 13 points when Gmunden won its third consecutive Austrian League title downing Macabido Gunners Oberwart, 88-70, to complete a three-game sweep of the final round.
"'He did a good job for them,'' said Hart. ""He made a definite impact on the team where they didn't lose too many games after he got there.''
In France, Hart said, "'I think offensively they didn't utilize him like they should have. Overseas you lose three-four games in a row and they just make moves to make moves as opposed to make moves to get better.
"'The team definitely made a mistake releasing him. Luckily he was able to go somewhere else, regroup, and win a championship.''
Hart said he's now trying to find Hamilton a team in a higher caliber league. "'A better league for more money,'' said Hart. ""When you're playing in Europe you're always trying to move up and make as much money as you can in the time frame you have to play.
""His old coach in Poland, who he played good for, went to a new team (in Poland) and wants him,'' said Hart. ""And there are some possibilities we're exploring in Asia.''
At age 24 Hamilton appears to have plenty of time to enjoy his job of playing basketball, where ever it may be.
""People go to jobs from nine to five and they hate it or would rather not be there,'' said Hamilton. ""Me? I'd rather be there. I love it.
"'If I stay away from it long enough I'll end up right back in the gym. It's good.''
e-mail tonygsports@aol.com.

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