Thursday, June 10, 2010

'Burgh's Hammett picks Molloy

Lansingburgh High School senior Tyler Hammett (50) has decided to accept a scholarship offer from Molloy College, a Division II school on Long Island. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

D-II school’s offer allowed Lansingburgh senior to turn down a year of prep school

William Montgomery
The Record

TROY — Tyler Hammett, a senior basketball player at Lansingburgh High School, had planned to attend prep school during the 2010-11 school year, hoping to increase his profile and improve his skills.

Then Molloy College gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

In the coming days, Hammett, a 6-foot-10 center, will sign his letter of intent to play basketball for Molloy, a Division II member of the East Coast Conference located in Rockville Center on Long Island.

Hammett, a member of The Record’s All-City first team in 2010, averaged 11 points, 12 rebounds and 5.5 blockers per game in his senior season.

At first glance, the mammoth Hammett looks like he was born to play on the basketball court, but it wasn’t always easy for him.

Lansingburgh head coach Guy DiBacco recalled first encountering Hammett when he came out to tryouts as a freshman.

“He was the biggest guy in the gym height-wise and weight-wise, even as a freshman,” DiBacco said. “He really worked hard in tryouts, but unfortunately after three days, he was hurt and missed a week.”

Hammett played just eight games as a freshman and nagging knee injuries kept him off the court entirely as a sophomore.

As a junior, Hammett played football, which led DiBacco to coax him back into basketball. As a junior, he played about eight minutes a game, averaging six points and six rebounds.

The Knights won the Colonial Council regular season title that year and Hammett came back stronger than ever as a senior. He averaged 30 minutes per game and led Lansingburgh to a share of the regular season title with Watervliet and a berth in a Section II title game for the first time since 1967.

Molloy’s financial aid package helped make the decision for Hammett, who was having a hard time finding a similar package from prep schools. He plans to study sports medicine.

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