Male Area Athlete of the Week: Hamilton a 2-way player for PRB

Pine River-Backus senior earns area athlete of the week

Jared Hamilton
Jared Hamilton

Jared Hamilton has turned into the go-to guy for the Pine River-Backus Tigers.

The senior showed it last week when he scored 23 points against Red Lake in a win and 14 points in a win over Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.

“I just try to work off my teammates and they get me open,” Hamilton said. “I just happen to be in the right spot to be able to score. It feels good that the team has the confidence in me to score, but I have the same confidence in them.”

For the season, Hamilton averages 14.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists on 51% shooting, 35% from 3-point and 70.9% from the free throw line.

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“He’s really good in one-on-one situations,” PRB head coach Jordan Ackerman said. “He just has a knack for scoring and a knack for getting to the rim. He has a really explosive first step and that helps him score at the rim and get his teammates open. He’s a really good passer and has great vision. His aggressive mindset helps us get in the flow on offense.”


Hamilton shows his value on the defensive end where he is the team leader in charges taken with nine and averages 1.9 steals a game.

A charge is when the defensive player has established position and the offensive player has made significant contact with the defender resulting in an offensive foul.

“His offense will start on defense,” Ackerman said. “He can get up and in the passing lanes and anticipate where the next pass can go and that will turn into easy transition layups. He gets after it on both ends of the ball and he’s our motor guy.”

Hamilton added: “Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to steal the ball from people. I’ve always had that knack I guess.”

Hamilton wasn’t the only player to find the scoring column against Red Lake as his teammate Andrew Bueckers chipped in 27 points.

“Andrew is a big threat in the paint, so when he has a chance to kick it out it gives me a chance to shoot,” Hamilton said. “I can also attack closeouts, drive and dump it off to him. We just have pretty good chemistry.”

Hamilton said he enjoys playing off the ball as a shooting guard.

“I just like to see my teammates create something and if I see something then I’ll cut or if I need to set a screen to go get the ball, I’ll get back open.”


As a junior, Hamilton was the second-leading scorer for the Tigers at 11.6 points a game. He also chipped in 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists. He also led the team in charges taken with five.

“He’s improved a lot in his decision-making and getting himself open,” Ackerman said. “He’s being a lot more aggressive and he needs to score the ball in order for us to be successful. His leadership has really stepped up and he’s bringing guys along in practice and leading with his voice and by example.”

Hamilton saw 14 games as a sophomore in the shortened 2020-21 season and averaged 9.5 points on 48% shooting.

“What’s improved the most for me in years past is my ability to finish around the rim,” Hamilton said. “I can do different finishes and my free throw percentage is a lot better.”

Ackerman loves coaching Hamilton.

“He’s competitive and doesn’t take possessions off,” Ackerman said. “He doesn't have an off switch which is uncommon for a high school athlete. He really is intense and competitive which is why he has been successful. He watches a ton of film and does a lot of little things and he deserves all the success he’s had.”

Ackerman said as a leader Hamilton is not afraid to speak up.

“He sets the tone with his calm demeanor,” he said. “He’s really matured in his leadership.”


Hamilton added: “I’ve been the guy to calm everyone down and let them know that we can do this in tight games when everyone is rattled. Coach has helped me in a lot of ways. He helped me not get so mad at myself and how to see the game differently.”

Other notable performances:
Basketball: Christian Hooge, Pillager, finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds against Pierz.
Jordan Mount, Crosby-Ironton, recorded 18 points against Mesabi East.
Andrew Bueckers, Pine River-Backus, recorded 27 points against Red Lake.
Peyton Church, Wadena-Deer Creek, scored 26 points against DGF.
James Stokman, Crosby-Ironton, scored 23 points against Esko

Jared Hamilton

Year: Senior
School: Pine River-Backus
Sport: Basketball
Position: Guard
Highlights: He scored 23 points against Red Lake.

Started at the Dispatch in June of 2019.
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