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Owen Hamilton coming home to play for the Badgers

Owen Hamilton was looking for a better fit, both as a student and basketball player.

The former standout from Prescott High School found a university that hit checked both boxes back in his home state of Wisconsin. Tuesday, the 7-foot, 260-pound center announced his intentions to transfer from Northern Illinois to UW as a preferred walk-on.

"Northern Illinois wasn’t the right fit for me," Hamilton told "From the style of play to the school itself.

"I went into the process open to a walk-on situation. I feel comfortable with proving myself to the staff and players, so it wasn’t a hard decision for me."

Owen Hamilton (Associated Press)
Owen Hamilton (Associated Press) (Associated Press)

Hamilton, who averaged 1.9 points last season for the Huskies, was considering South Dakota, Northern Iowa and Milwaukee before a late opportunity from the Badgers came about. He will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out this upcoming season.

"I figured since I wanted to go to another Division 1 school I should try to see if Wisconsin was interested," Hamilton said. "Lucky for me they were and they called me as soon as they got the papers from NIU. We talked quite a bit over the phone and it ended up with me feeling really comfortable with them and making my decision to go there."

A year spent sitting out will does come with a bonus. Hamilton will get to learn from All-American center Ethan Happ, who is expected to return for his final season in Madsion.

"I think they need a big guy when Happ is gone and they think I can learn from him and everyone else there in my redshirt year," Hamilton said. "With Joe Hedstrom coming I think we could end up being a good duo and help make some noise in the Big Ten.

"It’s going to be huge for me to learn from Ethan. He’s definitely a top big guy in the Big Ten and a very good defender, so I’m going to take what he tells me and use it to the best of my ability to help benefit me."

Hamilton will also reunite with a few other players he met during his prep playing days.

"I’ve played with Kobe King and Trevor Anderson and I know Brad Davison as well," Hamilton said. "I was on the same team as Khalil Iverson my freshman year at the Badger camp. So I know a few of the guys on the team."