Birthdate: March 17, 1938
Birthplace: Newark, Ohio
High School: Glenford HS (1956)
Colleges: Miami University (1960)
Year Inducted: 2021
A true basketball servant who is impactful in all his endeavors, the affable Jim Hamilton is the class representative for being an outstanding Contributor to the Game. A board member for the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame, Hamilton prefers to bring light to the exploits of other standouts of the game, and he had the privilege to toil alongside a few of them in the 1950s. But don’t let his humility or modest stature fool you – Hamilton could play and process the game at a high level.
As a four-year starter at Glenford High School, he led the Golden Horde to a gaudy overall mark of 101-9. He was named second-team All-Ohio as a junior and garnered first-team accolades after his senior season in which he pumped in 24 points per game. That led to a well-earned scholarship to continue playing at Miami University, where he was a mainstay in the starting lineup and a key figure on two MU teams (1957-58 and 1958-59) that are now enshrined in the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. Among Hamilton’s teammates during that time was Miami legend Wayne Embry.
After serving as team captain his senior year, Hamilton graduated in 1960 and remained in Oxford for an additional year to serve on MU’s staff as a graduate assistant. He then embarked on a successful high school coaching career that included a seven-year stint at Lakeview HS in Battle Creek, Mich., and an 18-year run at Upper Arlington, where he later became athletic director.
Until his retirement from education in 1993 and well after, Hamilton is a ready mentor with a funny story, words of wisdom and a warm smile that simply tells those around him to keep pushing and contributing to the greater good. He had 22 successful years as a financial planner in central Ohio before fully retiring in 2016. That allows him more time to devote to his family and to continue to strive for betterment of the game as a key contributor to the Ohio Basketball HOF.
Hamilton has been inducted into the Ohio Central District Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, the Perry County Baseball Hall of Fame, the Ohio Capital Conference Hall of Fame and the Ohio Athletic Directors Hall of Fame. He now adds his entry into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame.