On March 22, Boston College forward Jairus Hamilton officially entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal with one goal; moving closer to home.
“I just wanted to get somewhere a little bit closer to home,” Hamilton told Testudo Times. “My family has been dealing with some medical stuff going off in this past year, and I just thought it was definitely needed that I get closer to home with my parents.”
Hamilton, a North Carolina native, announced his decision to transfer to Maryland on Wednesday, after just a week and a half in the portal.
Transferring from Boston College to Maryland will significantly reduce the distance from Hamilton to his family — creating a scenario for him to apply for a waiver and potentially play in the 2020-21 season.
“The plan is definitely for me to play this year after we’re done with a waiver,” Hamilton said. “We’re gonna try our best to figure out how I can get to play this year.”
Many schools reached out to Hamilton after he entered the transfer portal, but he said most schools went though contact with his father first. The likes of Indiana and Notre Dame joined in the brief race with Maryland, but Hamilton had his eyes set on where he wanted to go.
“Maryland’s got such a great program,” Hamilton said. “They’ve been a good program and they just keep elevating — getting better and better. I just want to come in and help this program to continue winning like it’s already done and play with a great group of guys that are going to get me better every single day.”
Hamilton was listed at 6’8, 234 pounds at Boston College, and he has versatility with his size that could allow him to mesh with current Terps Aaron Wiggins and Donta Scott between the three and four spots — though nothing has been decided, according to Hamilton.
“[I’m] just very versatile,” Hamilton said of his game. “I’m always going to be looking to make a play and I think one of my best qualities is being able to make plays for my teammates. Also, being able to take advantage of mismatches.”
In his sophomore season in the ACC, Hamilton averaged 9.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in 24 appearances with 20 starts. He shot 42.8 percent from the field and 28.1 percent from deep.
“The ACC is a great conference,” Hamilton said. “Night in and night out you play against the best competition with NBA prospects on each team. It’s just great competition and I loved playing in the ACC, especially with my brother.
“That was huge, being able to have the opportunity to play with him. I had never played with him before, so being able to at one of the highest stages and play against NBA prospects was a dream come true.”
Coming out of high school, Hamilton was recruited by Maryland along with a slew of ACC teams, but ultimately chose Boston College around the same time that his older brother, Jared, transferred up north to Boston College from Georgia Southern for his final season and a half of eligibility.
The prior relationship between Jairus and the Maryland program helped when head coach Mark Turgeon reached out about his interest and reconnected.
“[Turgeon] was just expressing how much he wanted me there,” Hamilton said. “We already had a pretty good relationship and he was just saying how he sees me here. I just wanted to come and be a part of something where I could be on a winning team and have a chance to win at the highest of levels. It’s just stuff I envisioned, and I definitely wanted to come here.”
With his sights set and a decision in mind, Hamilton did not have to deal with the coronavirus’ impact on recruiting, as all in-person contact and visits remain suspended.
“[The restrictions] didn’t have that much of an impact,” Hamilton said. “I kind of had an idea of where I wanted to go and what I wanted to be able to do, and I saw that fit at Maryland.”
In the meantime, Hamilton is looking forward to improving his game in his own time while the pandemic plays out.
“I’ve been working out consistently,” Hamilton said. “I’ve got a hoop outside my house so I’ve been shooting every day — multiple times a day — and I’ve got a little rack set next door that I’m using to stay fit with the weights. I’m making sure I keep my training up.”