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Grant Hill
Grant Hill 2007-12-08.jpg
Phoenix Suns  – No. 33
Small forward
Born October 5, 1972 (1972-10-05) (age 37)
Dallas, Texas
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight 225 lb (102 kg)
League NBA
Salary $3,000,000[1]
High school South Lakes
College Duke University
Draft 3rd overall, 1994
Detroit Pistons
Pro career 1994–present
Former teams Detroit Pistons (1994–2000)
Orlando Magic (2000–2007)
Awards NBA co-Rookie of the Year
(1995)
NBA All-Star
(1995-1998, 2000-2001, 2005)
All-NBA First Team
(1997)
All-NBA Second Team
(1996, 1998-2000)
NBA All-Rookie First Team
(1995)
NBA Sportsmanship Award
(2005, 2008)
Profile Info Page
Medal record
Men's Basketball
Competitor for the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold 1996 Atlanta Team Competition
Pan American Games
Bronze 1991 Havana Team Competition

Grant Henry Hill (born October 5, 1972) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Phoenix Suns. As a collegian with Duke University and early in his professional career with the Detroit Pistons, Hill was considered one of the best all-around players in the game, often leading his team in points, rebounds and assists. His stint in the league has been hampered by career-threatening injuries, notably towards the prime of his career.

Contents

Biography

Grant Hill was born in Dallas, Texas. His father, Calvin Hill, graduated from Yale University with a degree in history, later attended Southern Methodist University and was a three-time All-Pro running back for the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys, winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award in 1969. His mother, Janet, was a Wellesley College graduate who shared a suite with Hillary Rodham when both were freshmen there.[2]

After his father's NFL career ended, the family settled in Reston, Virginia, where Grant became a high-school superstar at South Lakes High School and he was selected for the 1990 McDonald's All-American Team.

When the time came to choose a college, Hill's mother states in the Fox Sports "Beyond the Glory" documentary about Hill's career that she wanted him to attend Georgetown University, while his father preferred the University of North Carolina. Hill chose a neutral path and decided to attend Duke University. Hill played four years with the Duke Blue Devils, winning national titles in 1991 and 1992, where Duke became the first Division I program to win consecutive titles since UCLA in 1973. Despite losing two of the biggest contributors on the Blue Devils, Christian Laettner (in 1992) and Bobby Hurley (who went on to play in the NBA), Hill led Duke to the championship game once again in 1994, but ended up losing to Arkansas Razorbacks. Hill won the Henry Iba Corinthian Award as the nation's top defensive player in 1993, and in 1994 he was the ACC Player Of the Year. During his collegiate career, Hill became the first player in ACC history to collect more than 1900 points, 700 rebounds, 400 assists, 200 steals and 100 blocked shots. As a result of his successful college career, he became the 8th player in Duke history to have his jersey number (33) retired. After his freshman season at Duke, Hill played on the bronze-winning U.S. team at the 1991 Pan American Games, held in Havana, Cuba.

Hill is also widely known for his role in a desperation play in an NCAA tournament regional final against Kentucky in 1992, which is considered by many to be one of the greatest college basketball games of all time. With Duke down 103–102 in overtime and only 2.1 seconds remaining after Kentucky's Sean Woods hit a floater, an unguarded Hill heaved the in-bounds pass 75 feet across the court into the hands of Christian Laettner, who dribbled once and spun before pulling up to make the game-winning jumper from just outside the free-throw line as time expired.

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Personal

In Detroit, Michigan he was introduced to Tamia by singer Anita Baker. The two married on July 24, 1999. They had their first child, a daughter named Myla Grace Hill, on January 23, 2002. In 2003, they announced on Extra that Tamia had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In an interview with Smooth magazine, Tamia reported that the disease is seemingly in remission and she has symptoms now and then but they are controlled. On August 9, 2007, Tamia gave birth to their second child, Lael Rose Hill. The Hills currently reside in Phoenix, Arizona.

NBA career and Team USA

Detroit Pistons (1994–2000)

Grant Hill was drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the third pick in the NBA Draft after graduating from Duke in 1994. He entered the league to high expectations, where many expected him to be the future face of the league in a time when Michael Jordan was retired. In his first season, he averaged 19.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.77 steals per game, and became the first Pistons rookie since Isiah Thomas in 1981–82 to score 1000 points. Hill ended up sharing NBA Rookie of the Year Award honors with Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks, becoming the first Piston since Dave Bing in 1966–67 to win the award. Hill also won the Sporting News Rookie Of the Year award. He was named to the all-NBA first team in 1997, and all-NBA second teams in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000. Hill also regularly played in the NBA All-Star Game, where he made history by being the first rookie ever to lead an NBA All-Star fan balloting in (1994–95) with 1,289,585 votes,[3] narrowly defeating Shaquille O'Neal. In fact, Hill became the first rookie in all major sports to get most votes for an All-Star game.

In his second season (1995–96), he once again led the All-Star fan balloting, this time edging Michael Jordan (Jordan's first All-Star game after returning since retiring in 1993). During the 1995–96 season, Hill showcased his all-round abilities by leading the NBA in triple-doubles (10). He also won a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta as a member of the U.S. men's basketball team, where he had the team's fifth highest scoring average (9.7) and led the team in steals (18). Hill's 1996–97 season was his finest yet, with averages of 21.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He became the first player since Larry Bird in 1989–90 to average 20 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists in a season, an accomplishment that has not been duplicated since. Once again, Hill led the league in triple-doubles, where his 13 triple-doubles represented 35 percent of the league's triple-double total that season. He was the league's Player of the Month for January and was also awarded NBA's IBM Award, given to the player with the biggest statistical contributions to his team. He finished third in MVP voting, behind Karl Malone and Michael Jordan.

Much like Scottie Pippen with the Bulls, Hill assumed the role of a "point forward" in Detroit, running the Pistons offense. As a result, between the 1995–96 and 1998–99 NBA seasons, Hill was the league leader in assists per game among non-guards all four seasons. In the lockout-shortened 1999 season, as he led his team in points, rebounds and assists for the third time, Grant Hill joined Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor as the only players in NBA history to lead their teams in scoring, rebounding and assists more than once. Hill and Chamberlain are the only two players in league history to lead their teams in points, rebounds and assists per game three times. Hill was selected to play in the 1998 FIBA World Championship, but in the end no NBA players played in this tournament due to the lockout.

Hill's 1999–2000 season showed that he could be one of NBA's truly dominant scorers. He averaged 25.8 points while shooting 49% from the field, the season's third highest scoring average, behind MVP Shaquille O'Neal and Allen Iverson. He maintained solid overall numbers, averaging 6.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. However, despite Hill's individual accomplishments in Detroit, the Pistons never made it far in the playoffs, either losing in the first round (1996, 1997 and 1999), or missing the playoffs entirely in the 1994–95 and 1997–98 seasons. The 2000 playoffs would be no different. On April 15, 2000, 7 days before the start of the playoffs, Hill sprained his left ankle in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite his hurting ankle, Hill was bothered by being labeled "soft" by some Pistons fans and thus decided to play against the first round opponent, Miami Heat. However, his injured ankle got worse and Hill was forced to leave halfway through game 2. Eventually, the Heat swept the Pistons 3–0. Hill was initially selected for the 2000 Summer Olympics U.S. team, but could not play due to his ankle injury, which would prove to be a major liability for many years to come.

After the first six seasons of his career, before his ankle injury, Hill had a total of 9,393 points, 3,417 rebounds and 2,720 assists. Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird are the only two players in league history to eclipse these numbers after their first six seasons.

Orlando Magic (2000–2007)

On August 3, 2000, the Pistons traded Hill to the Orlando Magic, in what appeared to be a one-sided sign-and-trade deal in favor of Orlando for Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace. The Magic hoped he would team up with budding superstar Tracy McGrady, who had been signed away from the Toronto Raptors at that time, to return Orlando among the NBA elite. But Hill had been hampered by ankle injuries ever since his arrival in Orlando, playing in only four games in his first season with the Magic, 14 games in his second and 29 in his third. He was forced to sit out his entire fourth year with Orlando (2003–04). Meanwhile, the Pistons, who had defeated the Magic in the 2003 Playoffs but ended up losing to the New Jersey Nets in Eastern Conference Finals, won the championship the following year in 2004.

In March 2003, Hill underwent a major surgical procedure in which doctors re-fractured his ankle and realigned it with his leg bone. Five days after the surgery was performed, Hill developed a 104.5 °F (40.3 °C) fever and convulsions. He was rushed to a hospital. Doctors removed the splint around his ankle and discovered that Hill had contracted a potentially fatal methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection. He was hospitalized for a week and had to take intravenous antibiotics for six months.

The 2004–05 season saw a return to the old Grant Hill, who was so popular earlier in his career. Hill, though hampered by a bruised left shin that caused him to miss several games, started and played 67 games for the Magic, well over the combined amount of games he played for the Magic the previous four seasons. He was named the Eastern Conference player of the week for the week between November 15–November 21, 2004. Over the season, Hill averaged 19.7 points per game on a .509 field goal percentage. Fans voted him an All-Star starter again, and he led the Eastern Conference All-Star Team to a victory over the West. In addition, at the conclusion of the season, Hill was awarded the Joe Dumars Trophy presented to the NBA Sportsmanship Award Winner.

During the 2005–06 season, Hill was once again injured frequently as nagging groin injuries kept him sidelined for much of the first half of the season, limiting him to 21 games. He got a sports hernia that was caused by an uneven pressure on Hill's feet while he was running, due to concerns that he could re-aggravate the injury on his left ankle if it got too much pressure. Hill underwent surgery for the hernia and has since stated that he would consider retirement if he has to get another surgery.

In the 2006–07 season, Hill returned from injuries despite numerous rumors surrounding his retirement. Hill received ankle rotation therapy from specialists in Vancouver, BC during the off-season and has stated that he has regained much motion in his left ankle. Hill returned to the Magic lineup, starting at the shooting guard position. Despite having problems with injuries on his left knee and a tendon in his left ankle, Hill managed to play 65 games, two short of the highest number of games he played over a single season as a member of the Magic. He finished the season with averages of 14.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. This season would see Hill return to the playoffs for the first time since 2000, his first playoff appearance with the Magic. The 8th seed Magic would meet Hill's old team, the Detroit Pistons, in the first round. The Pistons' vast playoff experience would prevail over the inexperienced Magic, who had not seen significant post-season action for some years, and despite having some close games, the series would end with a 4–0 Pistons sweep, leaving Hill undecided on whether to return for the 2007–08 season with the Magic, sign with another team, or retire.[4]

Phoenix Suns (2007–present)

Hill became an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2007. On July 5, Hill's agent, Lon Babby, said Hill intended to sign with the Phoenix Suns on July 11 (the first day free agents can officially sign contracts).[5] Hill earned $1.830 million for 2007–08 with a $1.97 million player option for the next year. Hill was named captain along with Steve Nash. Hill was given permission by Suns Ring of Honor member Alvan Adams to wear his familiar No. 33 with the Suns. Hill adapted well to the Suns' up-tempo style, averaging double figures in points as a key role player for Phoenix in the early months of the 2007–08 season. He played in the team's first 34 games before an emergency appendectomy on January 9, 2008, sidelined him for two weeks. Despite being bothered by multiple injuries throughout the season, Hill had his first 70-game season since leaving Detroit, averaging 13.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 2.9 apg in the process.

Playing for the Phoenix Suns in the 2008–2009 season, Hill appeared in all 82 games for the first time in his career and averaged 12.0 ppg, 4.90 rpg, and 2.3 apg, scoring 27 points and 10 rebounds in the Suns' season finale.

On July 10, 2009, the Associated Press reported that Hill decided to re-sign with the Phoenix Suns for a 2-year deal, despite an offer from the New York Knicks for the full mid-level exception and the Boston Celtics offering Hill the bi-annual exception.[6] The first year of the contract is believed to be worth around $3 million with the second year at Hill's option.

Career transactions

Public life outside basketball

  • In the 1990s, one of Sprite's longest-running ad campaigns was "Grant Hill Drinks Sprite" (overlapping its "Obey Your Thirst" campaign), in which Hill's abilities, and Sprite's importance in giving him his abilities, were humorously exaggerated.[8][9]
  • In addition to Sprite, Hill was also a spokesperson for McDonald's restaurant, watchmaker TAG Heuer and sportswear companies Fila, and later Adidas.
  • In 1995, Hill appeared in an episode of the FOX sitcom Living Single. In the episode, Hill (portraying himself) has a whirlwind romance with magazine owner/publisher Khadijah James (Queen Latifah).
  • Grant Hill has been married to R&B singer Tamia since July 1999. They have 2 children: Myla Grace, 5, and Lael Rose, born August 9.
  • In 1998, he was in an episode of Home Improvement on the show inside a show "Tool Time".
  • Grant Hill also featured in the video of the song "Rockstar" by Nickelback.
  • Hill presented an award at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards with talk show host Ricki Lake.
  • Hill owns a substantial collection of African-American art, centering on the work of Romare Bearden and Elizabeth Catlett. A selection of 46 works from the collection were featured in a touring exhibition at a number of American museums from 2003 to 2006. The exhibition was last shown at the Nasher Museum of Art at Hill's alma mater, Duke.
  • Hill has established ties with the Democratic Party. His mother was a college roommate of Hillary Clinton. On the night Hill was drafted in the NBA, he received a congratulatory phone call from President Bill Clinton. Later, Hill publicly supported John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign and Barack Obama's 2008 presidential bid.
  • Hill's father, Calvin Hill, attended Yale, where one of his fraternity brothers was President George W. Bush.
  • In 2003, Hill contracted a life-threatening methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, from which it took him six months to recover.[10] He has since become an advocate for the awareness and prevention of MRSA and has appeared in public service announcements for a non-profit organization. [11]
  • Hill had been a Vice-Chairman for the Board of Directors of the Special Olympic World Summer Games in 1999. It took place in Durhama, Raleigh and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. [12]
  • Hill, his mother Janet Hill and grandmother Vivian McDonald established the scholarship at the Dillard University School in New Orleans. This scholarship was in memory of Hill's grandfather, who supported this University consistently. [13]
  • Hill was featured on a poster "READ" that supported libraries, literacy, and advocated reading. [14]
  • Hill contributed to the day care center established by his father, Calvin Hill, in New Heaven, Connecticut in 1972, by donating funds. This day care center was established after Calvin graduated from Yale University and the goal was helping children and families in the local community. [15]
  • Hill funded an organization in his hometown, Reston, Virginia, in order to help needy students of any ages pursue education. [16]

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1994–95 Detroit 70 69 38.3 .477 .148 .732 6.4 5.0 1.8 .9 19.9
1995–96 Detroit 80 80 40.8 .462 .192 .751 9.8 6.9 1.2 .6 20.2
1996–97 Detroit 80 80 39.3 .496 .303 .711 9.0 7.3 1.8 .6 21.4
1997–98 Detroit 81 81 40.7 .452 .143 .740 7.7 6.8 1.8 .6 21.1
1998–99 Detroit 50 50 37.0 .479 .000 .752 7.1 6.0 1.6 .5 21.1
1999–00 Detroit 74 74 37.5 .489 .347 .795 6.6 5.2 1.4 .6 25.8
2000–01 Orlando 4 4 33.3 .442 1.000 .615 6.3 6.3 1.2 .5 13.8
2001–02 Orlando 14 14 36.6 .426 .000 .863 8.9 4.6 .6 .3 16.8
2002–03 Orlando 29 29 29.1 .492 .250 .819 7.1 4.2 1.0 .4 14.5
2004–05 Orlando 67 67 34.9 .509 .231 .821 4.7 3.3 1.5 .4 19.7
2005–06 Orlando 21 17 29.2 .490 .250 .765 3.8 2.3 1.1 .3 15.1
2006–07 Orlando 65 64 30.9 .518 .167 .765 3.6 2.1 .9 .4 14.4
2007–08 Phoenix 70 68 31.7 .503 .317 .867 5.0 2.9 .9 .8 13.1
2008–09 Phoenix 82 68 29.8 .523 .316 .808 4.9 2.3 1.1 .7 12.0
Career 787 765 35.7 .486 .278 .764 6.6 4.7 1.4 .6 18.5
All-Star 6 6 22.2 .571 .500 .545 2.5 3.2 1.2 .2 10.5

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1995–96 Detroit 3 3 38.3 .564 .500 .857 7.3 3.7 1.0 .0 19.0
1996–97 Detroit 5 5 40.6 .437 .000 .718 6.8 5.4 .8 1.0 23.6
1998–99 Detroit 5 5 35.2 .457 .000 .813 7.2 7.4 2.0 .4 19.4
1999–00 Detroit 2 2 27.5 .375 .500 .900 5.5 4.5 .5 .0 11.0
2006–07 Orlando 4 4 35.8 .500 .000 .667 5.5 3.8 .5 .2 15.0
2007–08 Phoenix 3 2 22.7 .455 .000 1.000 5.3 1.0 .7 .3 3.7
Career 22 21 34.5 .465 .400 .752 6.4 4.6 1.0 .4 16.6

Notes

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Alonzo Mourning
Henry Iba Corinthian Award
1993
Succeeded by
Jim McIlvaine
Preceded by
Rodney Rogers
ACC Men's Basketball Player of the Year
1993–94
Succeeded by
Joe Smith
Preceded by
Chris Webber
NBA Rookie of the Year
1994–95
co-awardee with Jason Kidd
Succeeded by
Damon Stoudamire
Preceded by
P.J. Brown
Luol Deng
NBA Sportsmanship Award
2004–05
2007–08
Succeeded by
Elton Brand
Chauncey Billups

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