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Grant Hill
Grant Hill.jpg
Hill playing for the Suns.
Atlanta Hawks
Position: Vice Chair of the Board
League: NBA
Personal information
Full name: Grant Henry Hill
Born: October 5, 1972 (1972-10-05) (age 49)
Dallas, Texas
Nationality: Flag of the United States.png American
Physical stats
Listed height: 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight: 225 lbs (102 kg)
National Basketball Association career
Debut: 1994 for the Detroit Pistons
Final game: 2013 for the Los Angeles Clippers
Career information
High school: South Lakes (Reston, Virginia)
College: Duke (19901994)
NBA Draft: 1994 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
Selected by the Detroit Pistons
Playing career: 19942013 (19 years)
Position: Small Forward
Number: 33
Career history
19942000 Detroit Pistons
20002007 Orlando Magic
20072012 Phoenix Suns
2012–2013 Los Angeles Clippers
Career highlights and awards
Medals
Men's basketball
Representing the Flag of the United States.png United States
Olympic Games
Olympic Gold Medal.png Gold 1996 Atlanta
Pan American Games
Olympic Bronze Medal.png Bronze 1991 Havana
FIBA Americas U18 Championship
Olympic Gold Medal.png Gold 1990 Montevideo
NBA.com profile grant_hill profile
"player code" (ex: 123) profile

Grant Henry Hill (born October 5, 1972) is an American retired professional basketball player who is a co-owner and executive of the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He attended Duke University and is widely considered one of its greatest players. After playing college basketball for four years, Hill played in the NBA for four teams in his professional career: the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Clippers. For most of his career, he played the Small Forward position. Hill also works as a basketball analyst for CBS and Turner Sports.

Hill played basketball for the Duke Blue Devils for four years. He was the 1994 ACC Player of the Year, a two-time NCAA All-American, and a two-time NCAA champion. Hill was touted as one of the best players in Duke history and as one of the greatest college basketball players of his era.

After graduating from Duke in 1994, Hill was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the third overall pick in the NBA Draft. He was the co-winner of the 1995 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Early in his NBA career, Hill was widely considered to be one of the best all-around players in the game, often leading his team in points, rebounds, and assists. In his first six seasons in the NBA, Hill averaged 21.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game and made the Eastern Conference All-Star Team five times. However, the trajectory of his career was altered by an ankle injury that Hill suffered in the year 2000. The injury continued to plague him for several years, led to a March 2003 surgery that was followed by life-threatening complications, and forced him to miss the entire 2003–04 season. In 2005, Hill made the Eastern Conference All-Star Team as a member of the Magic. He played in the Western Conference Finals in 2010 during his tenure with the Phoenix Suns. In the 12 seasons following his ankle injury, Hill averaged 13.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. On June 1, 2013, Hill announced his retirement from the NBA. He is a seven-time NBA All-Star, a five-time All-NBA selection, and a three-time winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award. In 2018, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

An ownership group including Hill and Tony Ressler purchased the Atlanta Hawks on June 24, 2015.

College career

When the time came to choose a college, Hill's mother told the Fox Sports documentary Beyond the Glory, that she wanted him to attend Georgetown, while his father preferred the University of North Carolina. Hill decided to attend Duke University, playing four years with the Blue Devils and winning national titles in 1991 and 1992. Duke became the first Division I program to win consecutive titles since UCLA in 1966–73. Despite losing two of the biggest contributors on the Blue Devils, Christian Laettner (in 1992) and Bobby Hurley (each of whom went on to play in the NBA), Hill led Duke to the championship game once again in 1994, but lost to the 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 1,900 points, 700 rebounds, 400 assists, 200 steals, and 100 blocked shots. As a result of his successful college career, he became the eighth player in Duke history to have his jersey number (33) retired. After his freshman season at Duke, Hill played on the bronze medal-winning U.S. team at the 1991 Pan American Games, held in Havana, Cuba.

Hill also is widely known for his role in the Hail Mary play in the 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 2.1 seconds remaining after Kentucky's Sean Woods hit a floater, an unguarded Hill heaved the inbounds pass 75 feet across the court into the hands of 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. Hill later produced a film, Duke 91 & 92: Back to Back about the team's consecutive wins and this game-winning play. In 2016, Hill was inducted into the Duke Sports Hall of Fame.

Touted as one of the best players in Duke history, many went as far as to say that Hill was one of the greatest college basketball players of his era. In 2002, Hill was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team honoring the fifty greatest players in ACC History.

Professional career

Detroit Pistons (1994–2000)

Hill was drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the third pick in the NBA Draft after graduating from Duke in 1994. He generally played the small forward position during his NBA career. 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 1,000 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 to lead an NBA All-Star fan balloting in (1994–95) with 1,289,585 votes, narrowly defeating Shaquille O'Neal. Also, he became the first rookie in any of the four major professional sports leagues to lead all-star fan voting.

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). In 1996–97 season, Hill averaged 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 had not been duplicated until Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double in the 2016–17 NBA season. 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, 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.

In the 1999–2000 season, Hill 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 averaged 6.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. However, despite Hill's 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. He continued to play until the first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat, in which 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 Olympics U.S. team, but could not play due to the ankle injury. That ankle injury would prove to be a major liability for many years to come.

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

Orlando Magic (2000–2007)

Hill with the Magic.

As an unrestricted free agent, Hill had planned to sign with the Orlando Magic. On August 3, 2000, however, a sign-and-trade deal allowed Hill to receive a slightly more lucrative contract while Detroit received at least some compensation for losing him. The Pistons signed Hill to a seven-year, $92.8 million contract and traded him to 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 was hampered by ankle injuries, 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). Despite missing so much time due to injury during his first seasons in Orlando, Hill still provided solid production when he was able to play, averaging 18.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per 36 minutes during the 2002–03 NBA season. Meanwhile his former team, the Pistons, who had defeated the Magic in the 2003 Playoffs, but ended up losing to the New Jersey Nets in the 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 and 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.

In the 2004–05 season, Hill, though hampered by a bruised left shin that caused him to miss several games, started and played 67 games for the Magic. By then, the Magic had traded away McGrady for Steve Francis, another ball-dominant guard, in what was viewed as one of the biggest trades of the decade. Hill was named the Eastern Conference player of the week for the week between November 15–21, 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. Also, after 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 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 stated that he would consider retirement if he had 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, British Columbia, during the off-season, and stated that he had regained much motion in his left ankle. Hill returned to the Magic lineup, starting at the Shooting Guard position. Despite having problems with injuries to 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.

Phoenix Suns (2007–2012)

Hill with the Suns in 2009.

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). Hill earned $1.83 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 permitted 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. The first year of the contract is believed to be worth around $3 million with the second year at Hill's option.

In 2010, the Suns advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals, marking Hill's first playoff series victory, and making him the first NBA player in history to win his first playoff series after 15 years in the league. After sweeping the San Antonio Spurs 4–0, the Suns then moved to the Western Conference Finals to face the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, but lost in six games (4-2).

In 2010, he was chosen as the tenth-smartest athlete in sports by Sporting News.

On June 8, Hill exercised his option for the 2010–11 season. The Suns underwent two major roster changes in 2010–11. During the pre-season teammate Amar'e Stoudemire left for New York while Hedo Türkoğlu, Josh Childress, and Hakim Warrick joined the Suns; within a year they also were traded for three other players. Hill became one of seven all-time NBA players to average 13 or more points at 38 years of age or older. On January 15, 2011, Hill passed the 16,000 career points milestone in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

On December 9, 2011, Hill decided to stay with the Phoenix Suns for one year, accepting a $6.5 million contract. By the end of the 2011–12 season, Hill had reached 17,000 career points, ending the season 78th on the all-time NBA scoring list (82nd NBA/ABA), 79th in career assists (83rd), and 66th in career steals (71st).

Los Angeles Clippers (2012–2013)

Hill with the Clippers in 2013.

After his contract with the Suns expired, Hill was pursued by multiple contenders, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, and the Oklahoma City Thunder. On July 18, 2012, Hill signed a contract with the Clippers. Hill suffered a bruised bone in his right knee in the preseason which kept him out for three months. He then made his debut with the Clippers on January 12, 2013, against one of his former teams the Orlando Magic. During the 2012–13 season, he played only 29 games, averaging 3.2 ppg and 1.7 rpg in 15.1 mpg. The Clippers finished 56-26, fourth-best in the Western Conference, and won the Pacific Division for the first time in franchise history. However, the Clippers fell to the Memphis Grizzlies in a six-game series in the first round.

Retirement

On June 1, 2013, Hill announced his retirement from professional basketball after 19 seasons in the NBA.

On September 7, 2018, Hill was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Executive career

On June 24, 2015, a deal was approved by the NBA Board of Governors to sell the Atlanta Hawks franchise for $850 million to a group led by Tony Ressler. Hill was a member of that group, and he thus became a co-owner of the team.

Broadcasting career

Hill covering Game 2 of the 2019 NBA Finals.

Beginning in 2013, Hill has hosted NBA Inside Stuff on NBA TV. He is also a sports broadcaster for CBS. In 2015, Hill was named to the lead announcing team for CBS and Turner Sports' joint coverage of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, alongside March Madness stalwarts Jim Nantz and Bill Raftery.

Sponsorships and paid endorsements

  • In the 1990s, one of the soft drink Sprite's longest-running advertising 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.
  • Hill was a spokesperson for McDonald's restaurant, watchmaker TAG Heuer and sportswear companies Fila, and later Adidas and Nike.
  • As of 2014, Hill has also appeared in ads for AT&T and Microsoft along with his wife Tamia.

In television and film

Personal life and family

Hill (right) with his father, Calvin, in 2022.

Hill is the son of former NFL football player Calvin Hill and his wife, Janet Hill. He was born in Dallas, Texas and raised in the Washington, DC area.

Grant dated actress Jada Pinkett Smith from 1993 to 1995.

In Detroit, Michigan, Hill was introduced to Canadian singer Tamia by Anita Baker. Hill and Tamia married on July 24, 1999. Their daughter, Myla Grace Hill, was born on January 23, 2002. On August 9, 2007, Tamia gave birth to their second daughter, Lael Rose Hill. The family resides in Windermere, Florida.

In 1999, Hill received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.

After Grant contracted a life-threatening methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in 2003, Hill became an advocate for the awareness and prevention of MRSA and has appeared in public service announcements for Stop MRSA Now!, a non-profit organization.

Hill earned his bachelor's degree from Duke University with a double major in history and political science.

Charitable activities

Hill (left) with Alonzo Mourning (center) and President Barack Obama in the White House Rose Garden in 2014.

  • Hill had been a Vice-Chairman for the Board of Directors of the Special Olympic World Summer Games in 1999 which were held in Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  • Grant Hill, his mother Janet Hill and grandmother Vivian McDonald established a scholarship at the Dillard University in New Orleans. This scholarship is in memory of Hill's grandfather, who supported this University consistently.
  • Hill was featured on a poster "READ" that supported libraries, literacy, and advocated reading.
  • Hill contributed to the day care center established by his father, Calvin Hill, in New Haven, Connecticut in 1972, by donating funds. This daycare center was established after Calvin graduated from Yale University and the goal was helping children and families in the local community.
  • Hill funded an organization in his hometown of Reston, Virginia, that helps needy students of any age pursue education.

Other interests

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 1.3 .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 .7 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 1.3 .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 1.4 .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
2009–10 Phoenix 81 81 30.0 .478 .438 .817 5.5 2.4 .7 .4 11.3
2010–11 Phoenix 80 80 30.1 .484 .395 .829 4.2 2.5 .8 .4 13.2
2011–12 Phoenix 49 46 28.1 .446 .264 .761 3.5 2.2 .8 .6 10.2
2012–13 L.A. Clippers 29 0 15.1 .388 .273 .583 1.7 .9 .4 .2 3.2
Career 1026 972 33.9 .483 .314 .769 6.0 4.1 1.2 .6 16.7
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
1996 Detroit 3 3 38.3 .564 .500 .857 7.3 3.7 1.0 .0 19.0
1997 Detroit 5 5 40.6 .437 .000 .718 6.8 5.4 .8 1.0 23.6
1999 Detroit 5 5 35.2 .457 .000 .813 7.2 7.4 2.0 .4 19.4
2000 Detroit 2 2 27.5 .375 .500 .900 5.5 4.5 .5 .0 11.0
2007 Orlando 4 4 35.8 .500 .000 .667 5.5 3.8 .5 .3 15.0
2008 Phoenix 3 2 22.7 .455 .000 1.000 5.3 1.0 .7 .3 3.7
2010 Phoenix 16 16 28.3 .480 .188 .868 5.8 2.3 .8 .6 9.6
2013 L.A. Clippers 1 0 20.0 .500 .000 .000 4.0 2.0 .0 .0 4.0
Career 39 37 31.6 .469 .238 .781 6.1 3.6 .9 .5 13.4
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