Hayden Fox will make his first professional baseball league start for the Marlins of the Rookie Gulf Coast League. Fox was a key member of Oakland’s baseball team this past season, helping the squad to their best tournament finish in the NCAA Division I era.
The left-handed pitcher recorded 63 strikeouts in 61.2 innings this year, posting a 2.95 ERA. Fox was selected by the Miami Marlins (the parent club of the GCL Marlins) in the 21st round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft that took place earlier in the month.
Fox already has appeared in one game for the GCL Marlins this season in a relief role and will take the mound tonight against the GCL Astros.
While Fox already had his name called in a draft this month, another Golden Grizzly star hopes to replicate the limelight tonight.
Reggie Hamilton, a former guard for the men’s basketball team, eagerly awaits tonight’s NBA Rookie Draft. The event, held in Newark, N.J., will be shown on ESPN at 7 p.m., and features all 30 NBA clubs selecting amateur players through two rounds.
While Hamilton isn’t expected to be an early selection in the draft, several experts and draft boards project the guard to be selected in between picks No. 45 through 60.
Hearing his name called by NBA Commissioner David Stern or NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver would be both a huge honor for the reigning NCAA Division I scoring champion, as well for the OU basketball program. If Hamilton is selected tonight, it would mark the second consecutive draft in which a Golden Grizzly would be taken.
Last year center Keith Benson was selected in the second round by the Atlanta Hawks, the first time Oakland ever had a men’s basketball player drafted into the league.
It’s not a guarantee that Hamilton will be selected, but several NBA clubs have shown interest in him. The Mid-Major All American and First All-Summit League star had workouts with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Portland Trailblazers, Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons.
One of those clubs could look to grab Hamilton in the second round of tonight’s draft, hoping that Hamilton can replicate some of the offensive prowess in the NBA that he showed on the O’rena floor.
Hamilton led all of NCAA College Basketball in points this season, setting a new single-season Summit League and school record of 942 points this season. Scouts were impressed that Hamilton could score from all areas of the court, shooting 45 percent from the field, 42 percent from beyond the arc and 88 percent from the free throw line.
While Hamilton’s scoring helped the Golden Grizzlies finish seventh in the NCAA in team scoring, his ability to run the point and hustle on defense truly made him an all-around player.
Hamilton averaged 5.1 assists a game, collected four rebounds per contest and led the Summit League with two steals a game.
Timothy Pontzer can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @timothy_pontzer