Investment pays off: EKU makes first postseason since 2015

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 11 p.m. on Saturday
Published: Mar. 18, 2023 at 11:57 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WYMT) - As the EKU Colonels get set to take the court at the College Basketball Invitational, the key to coming home champions is clear.

“We got to play EKU basketball,” said head coach A.W. Hamilton. “We got to cause some havoc and get out and run and get some rhythm shots in transition and have some fun.”

But for this Colonels team, the journey has almost been more meaningful than the destination.

Over the course of the year, this group came together to finish third in a stacked ASUN conference, and grew together in the process.

“I’ve been doing this for 17 years, you want your team to be a family,” said Hamilton. “You want them to love each other, to trust each other, to sacrifice for each other because that’s what a family does and this team really does that. This team decided that they didn’t want to have distractions that they wanted to have an opportunity to play for a championship.

“That’s a hard decision for a young person. Waking up every day, getting the most out of the day and going to bed every evening. I’m really proud of this group how they’ve grown.” That’s the mantra in Richmond...investment.

With all that these Colonels have invested, they gained some serious capital...with overwhelming fan support.

“Our community because these guys are so invested and take so much pride in being part of Eastern Kentucky University that the community just poured right back into them and they absolutely love these guys and these guys are so easy to love,” Hamilton said.

With a growing program, behind a family taking the court, it’s made Hamilton’s job all the more rewarding.

“Somebody told me, ‘do you have the same level of excitement that you have on day one?’ I got more,” Hamilton said. “I got more and we’re going to keep doing more and more and more. I’m just so fired up to be here.”

Now the mission is on to use that fire and desire to come back to Richmond with some hardware.

“They pour their hearts out every single game,” said Hamilton. “There’s not a team in the country that plays harder than these guys. That doesn’t mean we get to win every game but there’s not one team in the country I’ve seen that plays harder than these guys.”

EKU will play Cleveland State in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational on Sunday morning at 11 a.m.