Brad and Cindy Hamilton were having dinner with their daughter Jocelyn following one of her basketball games this winter at Manchester University when Jocelyn broke the news.
“I want to coach,” she told her parents.
That news certainly wasn’t met with disappointment from Brad, a coach at various levels over the past 18 years and currently the head girls coach at Hauser High School.
“I’m sort of honored by that,” Brad Hamilton said. “She’ll go way past me. I think she’ll be fantastic. If she wants to coach college ball — and I hope she does — I want to be her assistant.”
Jocelyn, a former Columbus North standout, is heading into her senior year at Manchester. She got a jump on the career networking process earlier this month when she attended a four-day NCAA Career Sports Forum at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis.
Student-athletes had to go through an application process, and only 200 were selected to participate out of about 1,100 applicants.
“It was a pretty neat experience,” Jocelyn said. “We had a lot of different speakers that gave us a lot of different advice as far as their career. It was kind of like a networking tool. We also answered a lot of questions about ourself to find out what we wanted to do.”
Jocelyn plans to graduate next May with a degree in sports management and minors in business and coaching. She hopes to obtain a graduate assistant position and go to grad school and work her way up from there.
“I think I’ve always had a passion for the game, and I’ve always wanted to be a leader,” Jocelyn said. “I think being a point guard, I could carry that over to coaching. I’ve seen my dad as I grew up being a coach and enjoying it. Even though it’s a lot of sacrifices, it has a lot of benefits.”
Manchester coach Josh Dzurick has no doubt Jocelyn will be a good coach.
“Point guards are usually your leaders,” Dzurick said. “As a junior, I let her call a lot of her own plays this year. She loves basketball, she’s passionate, and she handles being critiqued and criticized. You have to help your team be better and watch tape and realize when you’re beat and how to get better.”
Jocelyn set the Spartans’ single-season assist record with 147 as a junior.
“It was exciting,” Jocelyn said. “I honestly didn’t realize I was on track to get the single-season assist record until toward the end of the season. I don’t really focus on stuff like that.”
Dzurick said Jocelyn’s assist record is impressive, considering Manchester is a defensive-oriented team.
“We were not a high-octane offensive team,” Dzurick said. “She’s a pretty good talent. She sets us up. She has great court vision, and she gets the ball to her teammates.”
Jocelyn also led the Spartans with 43 steals, while averaging 4.6 points and 3.0 rebounds a game in earning All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference honorable mention honors.
“As a team, we had a good season, and that’s why I got the season assist record,” Jocelyn said. “They helped me get that honor that I received.”
Manchester loses only one player from a team that went 14-13 and reached the conference tournament semifinals.
“It’s going to be tough because the girl we lost was All-Conference,” Jocelyn said. “But if we work hard, we have a chance. Everybody in our conference is close, so it comes down to who’s playing well at the end of the season.”
Jocelyn, who took a trip to Brazil to play with a group of Division III athletes last summer, won’t be playing competitively this summer. She had foot/ankle surgery three weeks ago.
“I’m working on getting back on the court and recovering,” Jocelyn said. “I’m doing everything I can to stay in somewhat of shape.”
She may also help with her father’s team, as she has with some of his teams in past summers.
“She’s a good role model,” Brad Hamilton said. “She’s gotten everything she’s gotten through hard work. She’s not a natural athlete. She gives it everything she’s got every time she goes out there. It’s the competitiveness that drives her.
“Anything she puts her mind to, she’s going to be extremely successful,” he said. “I don’t really want to see her career end, but I’m excited to see what’s at the next juncture.”