Ultimate Competitor

by Justin Walsh

Jordan Hamilton is a seasoned veteran at the ripe old age of 18.

The last prep-star playing varsity basketball at age 13 was O.J. Mayo, and the parallel can be drawn further. Jordan and O.J. have constantly heard unfounded criticism of their attitudes, based off of he said-she said ejection stories that rival most “through the grapevine” tale. O.J. steadily proved his doubters wrong; Jordan is setting the groundwork for a similar vindication.

Jordan has no intention of losing a game–it’s been that way since he was six years old. At times his will to win can be misconstrued as a bad attitude. In a recent interview with Matthew Rodriguez, Jordan elaborated on his deep-stemmed fire for victory:

“Some people say my attitude is bad and some say ‘I play with fire!’ To me, I just want to win so bad that sometimes I feel that I shouldn’t show my emotion the way I sometimes do. It all actually started on the baseball field when I was a kid playing tee-ball. I didn’t want to lose, so I did anything and everything I could in my favor to win. I did just that. I was 6 years old when I started tee-ball. I played third base and every time the ball was hit to me, I would run all the way from third base to first base to tag the player out. I did this because the first baseman could not catch the ball, but that’s just how bad I did not want to lose.

“As I got older, I can say my attitude did get out of hand, and it was because in my mind, I just couldn’t stand losing. I used to work on my game from sun up to sun down just so I wouldn’t lose, and after I would people would always tell me, ‘It’s just a game.’ Well, for me it’s not just a game; it’s a part of my life. People who don’t really know me, think I’m just this bad kid which is not really the way to judge someone.”

Added to that is questionable criticism on his decision to classify in the 2009 graduating class. Much speculation has been made on his decision, and for the first time, he shed some light on the subject: “I started high school at the age of 13. The seniors didn’t like the fact that I was a freshman on varsity. Because of that, the seniors would hate on me, and do things they should not have been doing. On top of that, we had family problems at home. My grandmother was very sick, and ended up passing away. This was very hard on me because of how close I was to her. I also have ADHD, which is attention deficit hyper-active disorder. Meaning my attention span doesn’t last very long.”

What can we look forward to seeing this season for the Longhorn signee? Hear it straight from the Don: “You will see a change for my 2008-2009 season. I’ve been working on my attitude and I’m not going to let it get to me anymore because there are other things in life people should be mad about. Just one game is not going to spark me anymore, but I will keep that fire that I play with.”

Turn and burn Jordan, turn and burn.