Hamilton signed with UTEP in November but later asked for a release from coach Tim Floyd, who refused to allow Hamilton out of his letter of intent.
Hamilton, who is from Los Angeles, said he wanted to play closer to his ailing grandmother. He was thought to be headed to Southern California, but the Trojans backed off and UCLA wound up admitting him -- just one day after new Bruins coach Steve Alford lost out on guard Quentin Snider to Illinois.
ESPN ranked Hamilton, a younger brother of NBA forward Jordan Hamilton, as the No. 5 shooting guard and 32nd player overall in the ESPN 100.
Although he will sit out this season, sources said he will be allowed to be on scholarship. The National Letter of Intent committee last week denied Hamilton's appeal for a waiver to play this season.
ESPN.com's Andy Katz contributed to this report.