The Carolina Hurricanes make a visit to Duke practice. UNC could be next.

View The Original Article Here

Dougie Hamilton of the Carolina Hurricanes is a tall man on the ice, standing 6 feet 6.

Put the defenseman at, say, a Duke basketball practice and he comes off average-sized.

Hamilton recently attended a practice at Cameron Indoor Stadium with teammates Warren Foegele, Scott Darling and Clark Bishop, watching how Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski runs things.

“It was a lot of fun,” Hamilton said. “I really like that stuff. I like college sports and the atmosphere and everything about it. I have basketball in my roots.”

Hamilton, a Toronto native, is the son of two former Canadian Olympians. His mother, Lynn, played for Canada’s Olympic women’s basketball team in the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles and his father, Doug, was a rower.

The Canes players didn’t just observe Coach K conduct the practice session but also had a chance to chat with the Hall of Fame coach for a few minutes.

“It was pretty cool. You can tell just from the way he runs practice how much respect the players show him,” Foegele said. “He demands that respect. You can tell just by looking up at those rafters at all the championships they’ve won. It was a pretty unique experience.”

Coach K’s message?

“He talked a lot to us about being a good teammate and a lot about communication,” Foegele said. “The entire practice, they were talking and yelling. If they weren’t people were telling them that they weren’t talking enough. It’s pretty interesting how much they talk and how much he wants them to talk to succeed.”

Foegele, a native of Markham, Ontario, said he’s a basketball fan, although mostly NBA hoops. Hamilton said he knew of Krzyzewski’s accomplishments — the five NCAA titles. But not quite like his mom.

“She told me she was a little bit jealous of me, getting to go there and talk to him and being at the facility and everything,” Hamilton said. “Maybe I can take her there when she comes to visit.”

Hamilton, 25, has played some basketball and said he enjoyed taking to RJ Barrett, the Duke freshman from Mississauga, Ont. He said Krzyzewski didn’t inquire about his eligibility status.

“If he saw me out there he wouldn’t have had to ask,” he said, smiling.

Foegele, 22, said a few Canes might attend a North Carolina basketball practice soon, saying, “That’ll be cool, just to compare. I can get an opinion of which one’s better.”