By Les Dixon
RUPP ARENA – A familiar face was with Montgomery County coach Happy Osborne during the Indians’ first round contest against Warren Central in the 96th Annual Boys Sweet Sixteen on Thursday.
Former Corbin Redhound basketball player Josh Hamlin is an assistant for the Indian basketball team and he also serves as head of the middle school basketball program while working with player development and scouting for the high school basketball program.
Hamlin was a standout basketball and baseball player for the Redhounds and is now enjoying working with Osborne and the Indians.
“It’s great,” he said. “I played baseball three years at Georgetown College and helped coach Osborne for a year and a half. I was also a graduate assistant at Eastern Kentucky last year,” Hamlin said. “It’s really been a great experience.
“I really liked the relationship with coach Osborne,” he added. “I was looking for a job and coach Osborne made an offer and I excepted.”
After playing in the Sweet Sixteen for Corbin as a sophomore in 2005, Hamlin admitted it’s different coming into the tournament as a coach.
“It’s really different,” he said. “Being on this side, it’s definitely different. We’ve got a great group of kids that have really worked hard to get this far and hopefully we can do well against Warren Central and go even further.”
Hamlin and Corbin reached the state quarterfinals in 2005 before losing to University Heights, he’s hoping to go further this year with the Indians.
“I hope so,” he said. “There are a lot of great memories back then. I was a sophomore and we had some great players with Jordan (Noble) and Andrew (Parks). I could keep on going about the players – the way the community was involved, it was a surreal experience. I told the kids today when we were getting off the bus that if they get a chance they need to walk to center court and look around when no one is in here.
“We played at the 6:30 p.m. time slot on a Friday night and we were one of the first people in here and we got to look around,” he added. “It’s really nice to get to Rupp and it’s a really cool honor to get to play here. It’s something you’ve always wanted to do since you were a kid. It’s one of the toughest things to do to get to Rupp Arena. I was kind of spoiled because we made it that year to state in baseball, so it was a great year for me, individually, and for the school, too.”