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Hamilton brothers have found a love and a livelihood in basketball

Oldest brother Gary has played pro ball overseas, Jordan is on the Denver Nuggets, and younger brothers Isaac and Daniel are bound for college programs.

May 17, 2013|Eric Sondheimer

The Hamilton boys — Gary, Jordan, Isaac and Daniel — fell in love with the same girl, according to their mother, Karen.

"Spalding," she said.

Yes, basketball has become their ticket to college and success.

Last week, junior Daniel Hamilton of Bellflower St. John Bosco became the fourth brother to accept a basketball scholarship when he committed to Connecticut. He joins Isaac, a McDonald's All-American who will graduate next month from St. John Bosco and head to Texas El Paso; Jordan, who played for Texas and was a first-round draft pick of the Denver Nuggets in 2011; and Gary, who played at Miami and has been a pro player overseas.

"It's a miracle," Karen says of the basketball success.

Southern California has produced its share of all-star basketball families.

There were the Murrays from Glendora, Tracy and Cameron. There were the Jacobsen brothers from Glendora, Adam, Brock and Casey. There were the Collins twins from Studio City Harvard-Westlake, Jason and Jarron.

The Hamiltons have set their own standard of excellence.

Gary arrived in town this week after playing professionally in Uruguay, so all four brothers sat together playing a video game on their phones. Daniel won. He has always been the best video game player, and now he's catching up on the basketball court.

"He'd always get the water for us," Jordan said. "When we'd go home, he was the one always playing video games. Then, one day, he just got the memo and said, 'I want to go out here and be just as good as these guys.' He put in the work, and now he's where he wants to be."

His father, Greg, considers Daniel a future coach.

"When he was 7, he knew a travel, he knew a charge," Greg said. "He's really intelligent."

But not until the video games went away did his focus change to basketball.

"I was the one who always talked a lot," Daniel said. "Even though I wasn't that good, I was talking and always had that mind-set and confidence that I was good, and one day it clicked on."

The basketball games in the backyard of the family home were more than intense. Gary, 28, is 11 years 1 day older than the youngest, Daniel, 17. And he chose to be very physical on the court with all the brothers.

"Having to go against their older brother, they'd come in crying, their shirts bloody," Karen said. "They knew I wouldn't allow them to stay out there if they cried, so they learned to bite their T-shirt and put the tears away so I couldn't hear them."

In many ways, Gary was the pioneer of the family. He started off playing football at Crenshaw High.

"I saw guys chopping at his knees," Greg said. "I said, "That's it.'"

He switched to basketball, and at 6 feet 10, he ended up being the tallest Hamilton. Jordan is 6-7, Daniel 6-7 and Isaac 6-4. Their mother is 5-9 and the father is 6-2.

Each boy has chosen a college far from home. "That's how you grow up," Greg said. "They're getting to see the country."

One day, there could be three Hamilton brothers playing in the NBA at the same time.

"I appreciate watching these guys, and I'm so proud of them," Gary said.

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