Celebrating Jim Hamilton

“For us, it’s not about that he worked here, it’s about who he is.” PDS Planning Managing Principal and Wealth Manager, Rita Itsell explains why celebrating Jim Hamilton and his induction into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame is so important to the team.

Described as immediately likable and impactful in every life venture, Jim Hamilton is the class representative to the Hall of Fame for being an Outstanding Contributor to the Game. Born and raised in the small village of Glenford, Ohio, where he was part of a graduating class of 27 students, Jim says he was “a basketball fan from early on.”

And a successful player, as well, it seems. He was a four-year starter at Glenford High School where he led the Golden Horde to an overall mark of 101-9. He then went on to be part of the starting lineup for Miami University and played on two MU teams (1957-58 and 1958-59) that are now enshrined in the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame.

Immediately after graduating in 1960, Jim says, “coaching became a part of me,” and he embarked on a successful high school coaching career that included an 18-year run at Upper Arlington High School, where he later became athletic director until 1993.

He has made such a lasting impact on the basketball program and the entire Upper Arlington community that the basketball court in the newly constructed high school is emblazoned “Jim Hamilton Court.” But, Jim is quick to point out, “I didn’t get here by myself,” and goes on to credit the players, coaches, staff, and administration for playing a role in his success.

Bob Hamilton, one of Jim’s brothers, was a founding member of PDS Planning, and following his career at Upper Arlington, Jim joined the PDS team, albeit a small one at the time in the 1990s. Rita remembers that when she joined PDS it consisted of Bob Hamilton, Bob Cochran, Jim and a part-time person. She recalls, “I immediately connected with Jim because his personality was infectious and he was a people person like me.”


Throughout his time at PDS, until he retired in 2017, Jim came in every day whistling and sharing his Morning Glories around the office. Whether he was emceeing the white elephant gift exchange during the holiday season or sharing his bounty from his annual hunting trip in Michigan for morel mushrooms, “he was always positive,” Rita says. “It seemed like he jumped out of bed happy.” This may be one reason why many who worked with him over the years often said “we want to be Jim Hamilton when we grow up.”

The Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame recognizes Ohio’s basketball greats and their achievements in high school, college, and professional basketball, a few of the greatest coaches in the game, and those who have impacted the game along the way. Jim Hamilton is certainly worthy of such recognition and all of us at PDS offer our most sincere congratulations on this honor

The 2022 Ceremony will be held Saturday, April 9, 2022, at the Hyatt Regency Columbus.

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