Women’s basketball freshman goes viral with scholarship offering

Jaiden Hamilton (12) is a new face in the Georgia Southern women's basketball program who went viral on social media for being offered a full-ride scholarship last week.

Elijah Jackson

For freshman Jaiden Hamilton, she didn’t see herself starting at all this season for Georgia Southern but rather come off the bench and continue to get better for the future. Little did she realize that she would be one of the bright spots for the Eagles on offense this year. 

“Before the season started I was kind of struggling, trying to keep up with everybody,” Hamilton said. “I knew I was gonna play but I didn’t think I was gonna be playing like 20-30 minutes and then eventually starting.”

Hamilton scored more than 2,000 points at Laney High School and she was a star in the classroom. She ended up graduating in her class as Salutatorian and has declared health science as her major here at GS.

{{tncms-inline account=”Chad Cook’s AugBball” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Laney senior Jaiden Hamilton signed a national letter of intent with Georgia Southern today in the school’s gym. Hamilton averaged 18 points last season and she won two state championships and piled up 15 state playoff wins in her four years at Laney. <a href="https://t.co/L2wWCT2TN4">pic.twitter.com/L2wWCT2TN4</a></p>— Chad Cook's AugBball (@AugBball) <a href="https://twitter.com/AugBball/status/1128385639811026944?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 14, 2019</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/AugBball/status/1128385639811026944″ type=”twitter”}}

Head Coach Anita Howard played a big role in the decision to become an Eagle, and, of course, the close proximity to her hometown of Augusta.

“At the beginning of the season especially when I came up here for the summer, I wouldn’t say I was weak but compared to the rest of the team I kind of was,” she said. “But I think now I’m more stronger and more in shape.”

Compared to being a student-athlete in high school, Hamilton feels that being a Division I athlete is a lot more draining and tiring because of the days where there may be two practices or weights right after a practice. 

The rigor of the sport has helped discipline her body on and off the court.

For Hamilton when it came to basketball there was no plan B, basketball had always been the only option. 

“I didn’t really have a plan B like I knew what I wanted to study in college but I never think about, like working all my life,” Hamilton said. “Basketball has always been my plan A.” 

Hamilton hopes that after college she’ll be able to go overseas or play professional basketball here in America. 

Since starting, Hamilton has scored over her season average in points in four of the games in the nine game stretch.

Because of her play this season, Hamilton was surprised with a full scholarship in front of her teammates and family. The video has since went viral on various social media outlets.

{{tncms-inline account=”ESPN” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">This Georgia Southern basketball player thought she was reading through the team's game plan.She got a full-ride scholarship instead 🙌(via <a href="https://twitter.com/GSAthletics?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GSAthletics</a>) <a href="https://t.co/nLIJxvlLNs">pic.twitter.com/nLIJxvlLNs</a></p>— ESPN (@espn) <a href="https://twitter.com/espn/status/1220786455515189251?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 24, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/espn/status/1220786455515189251″ type=”twitter”}}

Elijah Jackson, The George-Anne Sports Editor, [email protected]