When the I Can All-Stars won the 2021 Drew League championship, a lot of folks were surprised. Not Daniel Hamilton. “The Drew League is the best thing to play in,” he said after winning that coveted title, noting that he was “itching” to get back in the game with I Can down 10 with just minutes to play in regulation.
That’s the same mentality he would have taken into this weekend’s back-to-back matchups with the Citi Team Blazers and Redemption, except that this time he had his blood brothers (and a cousin) at his back. The Hamiltons have been a fixture at the Drew for years, from eldest Gary to Jordan and Daniel’s youngest brother, Isaac. Their cousin Blake filled out I Can’s starting five, and with that squad, they overtook both of their opponents in tightly contested games, beating the Blazers by 11 and Redemption by just 2 points.
But it was Daniel, this week’s Player of the Week, who was both the fuel to his family’s offensive engine and their driver, pouring in 50 points on Saturday and 18 on Sunday, making it look easy all the way, even when the pressure was on. With DHam in championship form once again, I Can looks to do what only a handful of Drew teams have done in the last 40 years: win in repeat title games. With their family first mentality and Daniel’s eternal readiness, they’re backing up their self belief in a big way.