MCGILL: Hamilton 'Excited' After NCAA Grants Extra Year|
May 4, 2017
By Chuck McGill
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Welcome back, Talequia.
The NCAA has granted Marshall University’s request for 6-foot senior women’s basketball player Talequia Hamilton to receive an additional year of eligibility. Hamilton was informed of the NCAA’s decision Thursday afternoon.
Hamilton learned of her fate from Beatrice Crane Banford, Marshall’s associate athletic director for Olympic sports and the senior women’s administrator; Bill Timpano, assistant athletic director for compliance; and Tony Kemper, the head women’s basketball coach.
“It’s exciting for our entire program,” Kemper said. “Our team is really excited to have her back, and I’m excited that she gets to have another year in this place doing the things that she’s been doing on the basketball floor, and also the positive effect she’s had on Marshall University and the community off the floor.
“It’s a good day for all of us.”
Hamilton, who is originally from Huntington, is a key piece to Marshall’s team. Last season, she averaged 12.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in 30 games (all starts). She ranked second in points, first in rebounds, first in blocks (54) and second in steals (33).
“It was a long process but I’m glad that it’s come to an end,” Hamilton said. “And it’s a good ending.”
Hamilton received the seventh year of eligibility because of multiple circumstances that prevented her from playing during her collegiate career, including a knee injury, pregnancy and a transfer year after she left the University of Cincinnati.
Last month, Hamilton received the HERDSPY award perseverance. At the time, Hamilton wasn’t sure she would ever suit up again with the Herd, but Kemper said she has been working harder than ever in the offseason.
“She has showed more leadership, more energy and a tougher mentality than I’ve ever seen her display,” said Kemper, who took over as the head coach on March 17. “She’s going to really help. She’s been through a lot of games at this level. She appears that she’s ready to take another step in her basketball career.”
Hamilton celebrated Thursday’s news via the social media website Twitter, where she posted a photo of the NCAA approval letter along with the hashtag #OneMoreYear. In a follow-up tweet, Hamilton asked: “Y’all thought I was done?”
Hamilton, who is 6 feet tall, will bring back a significant post presence for Marshall. She finished last season in the Top 18 in Conference USA in blocks (second), field goal percentage (fourth), offensive rebounds (sixth), rebounding (10th) and scoring (18th). Her 54 blocks tied for the third most in a single season in program history, and she is sixth all-time at Marshall in blocks with 92.
“I never thought this was going to happen,” Hamilton said. “I thought they were going to tell me no. I’m so excited. I spent a few years sitting out because of life, injuries, having a child and transferring. It feels good to finally get this back. I am getting back what I’m putting into it.”