The Wolfpacker

September 2017

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 60 of 95

SEPTEMBER 2017 ■ 61 "We are leaving a great place and a great community, but we are very excited to be here," said Hamilton, whose full name is Archibald William Hamilton VI. "Cha- tham, Virginia, is a great place and I was lucky enough to play for Coach Keatts at Hargrave. "Having the chance to be there for the last 11 years coaching, it couldn't have worked out any better for me." Keatts has often joked the real reason he hired Hamilton was because his former player was closing in on his wins record at Hargrave. "When I hired A.W. Ham- ilton, I wanted to make sure I hired him," Keatts said. "… He has done a tremendous job at Hargrave. I got to looking at my record and I had 263 [wins], and I started doing the math. "I said, 'If I let him stay one more year at Hargrave, he is go- ing to break my record.' I would not be the all-time leading coach at Hargrave." Hamilton downplayed his coaching success. "I was good at scheduling more games than Coach Keatts," said Hamilton, who added that former NC State star T.J. Warren might have been the best player he coached against. "That is how I had so many wins in such a short period of time." NC State decided to wait on the third assistant coaching hire until June 7, though Hamilton was linked to the position for months. Hamilton felt good that during the lag time he was able to take care of Hargrave and put them on solid footing moving forward. "I said, 'Coach, are you going to hire me or what?'" Hamil- ton recalled. "We started talking about the position and got more in-depth about it. It worked out." Hamilton does claim to hold one particular record at Har- grave, though Keatts has tried to dispute that. Hamilton knows he made sure future Texas post player James Thomas was con- tinuously taken care of during their season together and be- lieves he is the program's all- time assists leader. "Coach shot me down on that a couple of years ago," Hamil- ton said. "He gave it to Armon Bassett. I'd like to see the record books on that." Hamilton's background at Wake Forest could help him adjust to the ACC, while his time at Hargrave helped expand his recruit- ing contacts. "As a player, I was blown away night in and night out [because of] the compe- tition level, the crowds, and excitement and passion of the fans," he said. "When we played at NC State, I think it was the second year of PNC Arena. I remember thinking, 'Gosh, this is the best arena in the conference.' The fans were so passionate." Hamilton immediately was able to bring in one of his former players, point guard Braxton Beverly, who played for him this past season. Beverly originally signed with Miami (Ohio) and then asked out of his letter of intent, and attended Hargrave as a post-graduate student. He signed scholarship papers with Ohio State, but following the coaching transition from Thad Matta to Chris Holtmann this past June, he wanted to play for his former coach at NC State. Hamilton has heard his fair share of recruiting pitches from college coaches, both as a player and then a coach. He just wants to be himself and honest when he tries to land players. "You have to be genuine," Hamilton said. "Recruiting is about developing relationships. Those are all things I've learned from Coach Keatts throughout the years. "The families have to trust you and that you'll treat their son properly. That is the most important thing to me." Between his time as an assis- tant coach and head coach, he's had more than 100 players go on to Division I basketball and numerous made it all the way to the NBA. "In 2015, we had Terry Rozier went No. 16 [to Boston Celt- ics] and Montrezl Harrell went No. 32 [to Houston Rockets], and I was actually with Mon- trezl at his draft party," Hamilton said. "That was a special night and one that I will never forget." Hamilton attended Scott County High and then was part of a tryout to try and earn a spot at Hargrave. Keatts half-joked that Hamilton wasn't expected to play much going into his post-graduate year, but those expectations quickly changed. "He and I developed an in- credible relationship over the course of that year," Hamilton said. "I was the starting point guard on the first team he was a head coach on. "Since that time, he has been a father figure for me. We'd talk four to five times a week." ■ "He and I developed an incredible relationship over the course of that year. I was the starting point guard on the first team he was a head coach on. Since that time, he has been a father figure for me. We'd talk four to five times a week." ■ Hamilton on playing for Kevin Keatts at Hargrave Military Academy Hamilton played for NC State head coach Kevin Keatts at Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy in 1999-2000, and later served as an assistant under him there from 2006-11. PHOTO COURTESY A.W. HAMILTON

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