KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A larger than life presence and humble as they come--that's how Vol Nation looked at Steve Hamer.
Hamer says his journey to Knoxville was an improbable one, ”All my life I've been fighting odds because when I was younger I was rail thin. I had an awkward gate in my run and had a lot of people, a lot of naysayers out there say that I would never be able to go out and play collegiate let alone professionally. I read a local paper in the very first week of being here that said I was going to be a project and that I wouldn't get a whole lot of playing time so I stored that away and worked my rear end off to prove people wrong once again."
Hamer would "hammer"it home for the Big Orange between 1992 and ‘96 and for a pair of different coaches, first the reserved Wade Houston and then the colorful Kevin O’Neal. A decision Steve says almost landed him out of basketball, ”Upon coach Houston's dismissal I really thought about A, leaving the game of basketball all together because of my respect and love for him or B, transferring. Then a gentleman by the name of Chuck Benson talked to me for about 45 minutes in a completely dark arena just like this and told me 'Steve, I need to finish what you started'."
Rick- Steve was drafted by the Celtics in the second round and remained in the NBA through 2003. Fast forward to the present day where he’s back at Tennessee as UT’s Athletics Discovery Coordinator and now named among the latest class of inductees to the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame, ”To come full circle now and work for the greatest institution on the planet with the Tennessee Athletics Department, and now to be honored to be part of the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame, I'm at a loss for words and I'm rarely at a loss for words," said Hamer, who'll be inducted along with the rest of this years class on Thursday, July 21.
The event will air on on WBXX, the CW here in Knoxville and the guest speaker will be VFL and GKSHOF member Charles Davis.
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