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Friday, May 11, 2012
Francis Lewis' Hamlet signs with Wagner

By Matt Ehalt

As Wagner recruited Francis Lewis guard Jazmine Hamlet this spring, Hamlet noticed right away that there was a strong sense of family surrounding the program.

"Normally coaches during recruiting just talk to you, but they were talking to my mom and making sure everyone was comfortable," Hamlet said. "On my visit, they were great, they looked out for my interests. They just gave me that kind of vibe."

That vibe won over Hamlet as she signed her National Letter of Intent to play with the Seahawks last week. Hamlet averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 assists in league games for the Patriots this past season.

"It's very exciting, it's like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders," Hamlet said. "I don't have to think about it anymore. I can now just focus on graduating and going to Wagner."

Hamlet had originally thought of attending a junior college as she didn't have any Division I scholarships offers. That changed, though, when she attended the Boo Williams showcase in late April. After the event, Wagner started talking together and everything came together.

The Patriots liked how Hamlet was a team leader and can to split the defense, and appreciated how she saw the floor and was a true point guard at heart. After taking her official visit to Wagner, it sealed the deal for Hamlet and she signed her NLI last Friday. The 5-7 guard likes that she'll be able to play close to home.

"My family is here in Manhattan and it's like I get away from home but I'm still close to home," Hamlet said. "It's not like I'm going to be hours away. If I want to come home, it will only be like an hour and I'll be able to see my mom."

Francis Lewis coach Stephen Tsai described Hamlet as "fearless" and was happy for Hamlet and her family. He said Hamlet, who lead Francis Lewis to the Public Schools Athletic League Class AA semifinals, never gave up on the court and is tenacious at both ends.

Hamlet is the first recruit for new Wagner coach Lisa Cermignano.

"She is certainly a capable scorer with a very quick first step that allows her to get to the rim and she can hit the open shot,” Cermignano said in a press release on Wagner's website. “Jazmine’s specialty, though, is making those around her better. She drops passes on a dime.

She added: “But what she really does is she leaves her heart on the floor. She plays 150 percent all the time and literally has a presence on the floor that makes other players better. She’s a true point guard who has the ability to move over to the two because she can score. She controls the game, she controls the tempo, controls her teammates. She’s a floor general.”