One of Clemson’s most renowned defensive players returned to the program in August 2014. Vernon Hamilton is now in his second season with the Tigers as a graduate manager in 2015-16. In his role, he assists with on-court instruction and film exchange, prepares scouting reports and handles administrative tasks.
Hamilton had a positive impact in 2014-15, his first season. He helped Rod Hall finish his career in fine fashion. Hall ranks ninth in Clemson history in assists, one spot behind Hamilton.
Hamilton is Clemson’s career and single-season steals leader and played for the Tigers from 2003-07. He accrued 271 steals in 127 career games as a Tiger. Included were a school-record 83 steals as a junior in 2005-06, which landed him a spot on the All-ACC Defensive Team. He was a four-year starter and is 21st in Clemson history with 1,238 career points. He also tallied 399 assists, the aforementioned eighth-best total in the Tiger record books.
He was a part of three postseason teams and helped lay the foundation for the Tigers’ four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances that began the season after he graduated. In 2007, he was second on the team in scoring (12.3 ppg) and helped the Tigers to the NIT championship game.
After college, Hamilton played professionally overseas and domestically. He took part in NBA training camps with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008 and Detroit Pistons in 2010. He played for four different NBA Development League teams, winning a championship with the Colorado 14ers in 2009. He also played for the Austin Toros, Erie BayHawks and Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Overseas, Hamilton played in China, Germany, Switzerland and Turkey.
“The opportunity to return was a no-brainer,” Hamilton said. “Coach Brownell and his staff have done a great job building the program, and I’m excited to be a part of it. When Coach Brownell contacted me, I jumped on the opportunity.”
Hamilton earned his undergraduate degree in parks, recreation & tourism management from Clemson in 2007. He is enrolled in Clemson’s youth development leadership graduate program.