Former Howard University basketball player George Hamilton died this past Saturday as a result of a stroke he suffered on Tuesday. Hamilton, 44, was employed at Patterson Elementary School as a paraprofessional in the physical education department and served as the girls basketball coach there.
Hamilton played at Howard University from 1983-87 and ranks among the school’s all-time leaders in scoring with 1,183 points and in steals. He was a member of the Bison team that finished 25-5, the best record in recent history.
During his career at Howard, Hamilton was known for his hustle, defense and all-around team play.
“The thing that I remember most about George was that he played hard all the time,” recalls former Howard head coach A.B. Williamson, who recruited and coached Hamilton during his career at the Hilltop. “He was a joy to be around because of his demeanor. He always came to play, he was a team player and he never made excuses.”
Bay Athletic Director Glenn Manley said on Tuesday that doctors diagnosed Hamilton’s condition as the result of him suffering a stroke. On Wednesday, Hamilton underwent surgery, and on Thursday was put into a medically induced coma to aid his recovery.
Hamilton’s condition worsened Friday, school officials said, and earlier Saturday May said he was told that Hamilton was not improving. He confirmed Hamilton’s death later Saturday evening.
Manley said the team took a vote earlier in the week on whether it would play on Saturday. The players wanted to compete, feeling that participating would mirror Hamilton’s wishes.
“George was such a positive role model, spiritually and athletically,” Manley said. “He wasn’t just a role model to our kids. You can’t replace him.”
“We may have another girls basketball coach, but we won’t replace him.”