The overseas journey of British pro Ashley Hamilton!

Posted by on Jun 5, 2017 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Our player feature this week is on Ashley Hamilton, a 28 year-old British professional player who this past season suited up for Lavrio of the A1 Greek Basketball League. Ashley has extensive professional experience in Spain, Italy, Greece, Ukraine and Lebanon, as well as the USA where he attended Loyola Marymount University and competed in the NCAA D1 West Coast Conference.

ashley1Ashley is a 6’7 small forward who grew up playing for the London Towers program, and at 16 years of age he took his talents to Lawrence Academy in Massachusetts, USA. He left Lawrence Academy at the age of 18 to return to Europe, with his next destination being Gran Canaria, Spain where he attended Canarias Basketball Academy.

Ashley’s transition to Spanish basketball wasn’t without its challenges; growing up as a “big-man” in England meant Ash had spent considerable time under the basket and little on the perimeter, so he was immediately exposed to drills and skills that were completely new to him. Spanish players, no matter what height, are encouraged to develop skill-sets that allow them to step out to the perimeter and be effective. Ashley said “The game is played so fundamentally in Spain, and players learn from a really young age about footwork, dribbling, passing. It was so important for my game to develop these skills in an environment where players had them ingrained from an early age, because I had to catch up fast!”

ashley2Being exposed to the European style of basketball was an incredibly important turning point in his career. Ashley knew that he had the athletic ability and the mindset for success, stronger than many of the high-level players around him, and if he could continue to develop his perimeter skills he could have a very successful basketball career.

“While English basketball is steadily improving, I still see the overseas experience as being an essential part of a player’s growth and development. It’s almost every young British ballers dream to play overseas one day, whether in the USA for college or Spain, Italy, France etc. If you can get out there while you’re young, at least for a tournament, it’ll show you the high standards and how hard you have to work to reach them.”

ashley3After two years in Gran Canaria under the tutelage of CBA Coach Rob Orellana, Ashley was awarded a full scholarship to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, where in his first season he had a major impact and was named WCC All-Freshman team. Ashley was a key player in all four years at LMU, averaging 11 points and 6 rebounds his senior season in one of the toughest mid-major conferences in the country, setting him up for an exciting professional career.

“I attribute much of my success to the international exposure I had at a young age and what I learnt from the process – it was challenging at times to be so far from my family back home, but it’s important to stay focused and keep grafting every day.”