After an impressive first season in Turkey, Trinidad and Tobago Center Johnathan Hamilton will remain in the ING Basketbol Süper Līgī, signing a 2 year deal with Fenerbahçe Beko after starting last season for Darussafaka Tekfen.
According to Fenerbahçe’s press release, Hamilton has been signed to a one year deal with an option to play the 2021season as well. He joins other Fenerbahçe player signees Dyshawn Pierre and Edgaras Ulanovas on similar contracts as well as former Phoenix Suns head coach, Igor Kokośkov.
Hamilton took to Instagram to thank Darussafaka for a memorable first season playing basketball in Turkey:
He also posted a welcome message to the Fenerbahçe fans:
“firstly, i would like to say thanks for this great opportunity. i AM SO HAPPY TO BE A PART OF THE FENERBAHÇE FAMILY. I HAD A GOOD SEASON AT DARUSSAFAKA TEKFEN, AND PLAYING AT FENERBAHÇE DEKO NEXT SEASON WILL BE A BIG STEP IN MY CAREER. I AM ALREADY EXCITED FOR THE FORTHCOMING SEASON.”JOHNNY HAMILTON, 2020
Hamilton’s first season in Turkey has been nothing short of spectacular once he got comfortable in his surroundings. He finished the shortened 2019/20 BSL season with 8.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game through 23 games. He was the league’s leading shot-blocker. He was also the key player in Darussafaka’s Turkish Cup run. Despite Darussafaka losing to eventual winners (and ironically enough, Hamilton’s future club) Fenerbahçe, he had a double-double performance (20 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks) against the fellow Istanbul outfit.
He raised his game in EuroCup play as well. Through 15 games, he led Darussafaka in points (11.3 PPG), rebounds (8.1 REBs) and was also one of EuroLeague’s best rim protectors, averaging 1.4 BLKs a game as well (also led the team). His performances had him recognized as a EuroCup MVP candidate.
Fenerbahçe needed a big man that could help in the rebounding department and protect the paint, especially at the EuroLeague level, where they were ranked 2nd to last and last respectively in both statistical categories.
For Hamilton, this is a great opportunity to play on arguably a stronger team in the Turkish Basketball League and for more exposure and playing against better competition while playing in EuroLeague this upcoming season.
The Rio Claro native, before coming to Turkey, also was dynamic player for the NBA G-League’s Grand Rapids Drive in 2018/19, with averages of 11.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 2.4 blocks in 48 games.