"Something All Our Own", The Grant Hill Collection of African American Art.

Tamia is a chart-topping R&B artist with four Grammy nominations.

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Feature News

The HillTop

Vice chair Grant Hill hopes to help bring success to Hawks

July 2nd, 2015

By George Henry | Associated Press Jun 25, 2015
Original article on NBA.com

Atlanta Hawks new owner Grant Hill speaks during a news conference to announce the sale of the NBA basketball team to an ownership group led by Tony Ressler, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in Atlanta. (Todd Kirkland/Associated Press)

ATLANTA (AP) — Grant Hill always wondered why the Atlanta Hawks struggled to attract big-name free agents.

Now the seven-time NBA All-Star faces a challenge to help make that happen.

Hill was introduced as vice chair of the Hawks on Thursday, one day after the franchise and arena rights were purchased for $850 million. Hill has a stake in the new ownership group, led by billionaire Tony Ressler, which hopes to make the Hawks a consistent winner.

The Hawks are coming off a franchise-best season, winning 60 games and advancing to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time. In their first 46 years in Atlanta, the Hawks won just four division titles and had only a handful of memorable playoff runs.

They were rarely bad enough to earn a lottery draft pick and never good enough to win a championship.

“I’ve always felt there’s tremendous upside for this franchise and a tremendous opportunity to really resonate with the community and the fan base here,” Hill said. “I think that’s starting to happen, and our job is continue to support these guys as they continue to lead this team in the future.”

Atlanta Hawks new owners, from left, Grant Hill and Tony Ressler, coach Mike Budenholzer and CEO Steve Koonin pose during a news conference to announce the sale of the NBA basketball team to an ownership group led by Ressler Thursday, June 25, 2015, in Atlanta. (Todd Kirkland/Associated Press)

Ressler said he and the new owners plan to let the basketball and management staffs do their jobs without interference, adding that the team has a handshake agreement on a new contract with coach Mike Budenholzer to become president of basketball operations.

Wes Wilcox will sign a new contract in a promotion to general manager.

Saying that Atlanta is “truly the capitol of? the Southeastern portion of the United States,” Ressler promised to focus on the business side as Budenholzer handles the roster and CEO Steve Koonin, now in his second year with the franchise, handles daily operations.

“Having Steve and Bud lead the charge is one of the great assets we think we’re buying in this franchise,” Ressler said.

Ressler and his partners replace the Atlanta Spirit ownership group that was forced to sell after majority owner Bruce Levenson and general manager Danny Ferry made embarrassing remarks about minorities last year.

Other prominent names in the new group are Spanx founder Sara Blakely, her entrepreneur husband Jesse Itzler, and investors Steven Price and Rick Schnall.

Ressler, the principal owner, said he personally has “approximately 50 percent” of a stake in the franchise, declining to acknowledge an exact amount.

Budenholzer and Wilcox have replaced Ferry, who built the 60-win team and was on paid leave throughout last season.

Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer speaks during a news conference to announce the sale of the NBA basketball team to an ownership group led by Tony Ressler, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in Atlanta. (Todd Kirkland/Associated Press)

Budenholzer, who ran the team in his absence, will have the final say on all personnel matters, though he insisted “everything’s been collaborative” since Ferry hired him away as a San Antonio assistant on May 28, 2013.

He had little time to talk with the NBA draft under way Thursday night.

“Tonight will be another opportunity to make more good decisions with Wes and our entire scouting group,” Budenholzer said. “We’ll make a decision collaboratively that hopefully will let us continue to build and move forward.”

Budenholzer is still trying to determine if the Hawks will try to keep both forward Paul Millsap and guard DeMarre Carroll. NBA teams can begin negotiating with free agents on July 1, and the Hawks hope to add another big name or two if necessary.

The other three Atlanta starters – center Al Horford, point guard Jeff Teague and shooting guard Kyle Korver – are under contract.
Hill is confident that the Hawks will put together a solid nucleus no matter how the roster is constructed.

“I think regardless of where things were – there were some tough years and some lean years – I think the momentum that coach Bud and Steve have generated this last year is really impressive,” Hill said.

Atlanta Hawks Officially Sold to Tony Ressler, Grant Hill

June 25th, 2015

John Bazemore/Associated Press

By Tyler Conway , Featured Columnist Jun 24, 2015
Original article on Bleacher Report

The NBA unanimously approved the sale of the Atlanta Hawks to a group led by billionaire Tony Ressler and former All-Star Grant Hill at its board of governors meeting Wednesday.

“We are pleased that the NBA’s Board of Governors has approved the purchase of the Atlanta Hawks by principal owner Tony Ressler,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “Tony and his diverse and experienced ownership group will bring tremendous energy and passion to the Hawks and the team and its fans will greatly benefit from their commitment to the Atlanta community.”

Ressler’s group announced the $850 million purchase in April. The Hawks were put up for sale after racially charged emails sent by controlling owner Bruce Levenson were self-reported as part of an internal investigation. In the email, Levenson made a number of suggestions designed to make the team’s white fanbase more comfortable, many of which painted “black” activities and music in a negative light.

A finalist when Donald Sterling’s racial comments forced the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers last year, Ressler’s group was aggressive in ensuring he’d purchase the Hawks. One of the major plays was recruiting Hill, a well-liked former player who will likely be a national face of the ownership group.

The Hawks earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and were a conference finalist in 2014-15 despite ongoing uncertainty about their ownership situation. Wednesday will mark a historic day for the franchise moving forward, with the team unveiling new uniforms earlier in the day before the announcement.

Atlanta will hope the stability and new look will keep the forward momentum heading into next season.

NBA Draft: NBA TV/TNT analyst Grant Hill assesses Lakers’ draft needs

May 18th, 2015

By Mark Medina, original article on InsideSoCal.com

Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor is seen by many as not only the most polished big man in college basketball, but possibly the top player should he enter the 2015 NBA Draft. (Gerry Broome/The Associated Press)

Below is the first part of a occasional series with NBA analysts providing their take on the Lakers’ needs heading into the 2015 NBA Draft on June 25. Below is a recent interview with NBA TV/TNT analyst Grant Hill.

If the Lakers land the number one pick in the draft lottery [on May 19], who should they pick?

Hill: “Obviously the Lakers are kind of preparing for the future. But they still want to remain competitive with Kobe [Bryant[ in the equation. You have a very good young piece in Julius Randle already there. I’m assuming he will be healthy and able to return at a high level. So I like going with one of the bigs, either Karl Anthony-Towns [from Kentucky] or Jahlil Okafor [from Duke]. They’re young and can really be a cornerstone for the future of that franchise. They’re as good as post players as we’ve seen come through the draft in quite some time. I’m okay with that. I hate answering that question, not that I’m trying to avoid it. But it’s a hard question to answer when you get the No. 1 pick. But I think the general consensus is if you have the No. 1 pick, you pick one of those two guys. That’s what I would probably do.”

How would you compare Okafor and Anthony-Towns?

Hill: “They have some similarities, but there are some differences in some areas. Okafor is as a polished big guy for his age as we’ve seen in quite some time. He can come in offensively. He is so skilled. He has such a great touch and feel around the basket. He can come in offensively and put up some very good numbers right away. I think Towns has a little bit more versatility defensively. He can be a good rim protector. I don’t know if he is as polished offensively as Okafor. But he can do so many things on the court. There’s some similarities in some respect and some differences with what they do. I think both players will be great players.”

Who would you choose between the two?

Hill: “It’s hard. I like Okafor and I’ve seen more of him. I’ve watched and gotten to know him more and I like what I see. But I really don’t know Towns that well. I only saw him play live in person one time. That wasn’t one of his better games and his team didn’t play well. They lost to Wisconsin on Final Four Saturday. So it’s unfair for me to pick one. I like them both. But at this point, I would probably give the nod to Okafor. I’m more familiar with him and spent considerable amount of time with him and watched him both in practice and in games and in person live. I’m more familiar with what he does.”

Where does Okafor and Anthony-Towns have the edge over Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein?

Hill: “Willie Cauley Stein has a different game. He’s hugely athletic and not as tall on the offensive end as the other two guys. But he’s a great defensive player. I’ve see him as a Tyson Chandler. Tyson Chandler has been a great player, defensive player of the year and all-star a number of times and was on the Olympic team. I’m not saying he’s a carbon copy of that. But he’s a defensive guy and very athletic. I didn’t see him with a lot of back-to-the-basket stuff. I didn’t see him up close. But in pick and roll, he can be huge with the spacing and shooting that exists in the NBA. For him, a lot depends on where he goes and what’s the style of play. But I don’t know if he is as polished on the offensive end.”

So does he need to establish a post game?

Hill: “I don’t know if that’s his game. I think he’s more of a Tyson Chandler type who gets a double double, can get a lot of blocked shots and be an elite player in this league. He never was a post-up or back-to-the-basket kind of player.”

I presume you’re also familiar with Duke’s Justise Winslow. What are your impressions of Winslow’s game?

Hill – “I saw him play in pickup games last year before the season started. I felt like he could be a sensational pro. He had the upside to be a star. I think he’s got an ability to play on both ends of the court. You don’t see that a lot from young players, particularly from the perimeter. He has some mental toughness that’s very impressive. He became sort of the go-to player for Duke. He was not afraid of the moment. He was a guy who didn’t mind sharing the spotlight with someone else and not necessarily being the guy.

I also love the idea to get someone with so much potential and promise, to learn from one of the best in Kobe Bryant. Kobe will push him and teach him. The beauty in having a guy like Okafor or Winslow or Towns or anybody for that matter, to play for a legend in Kobe Bryant, who has legendary workouts and approach to the game will help them tremendously. Most top picks are not coming in playing with a Hall of Famer like Kobe Bryant. So for a guy like Winslow to learn from him and see him as a role model, that will be huge for his development and any young player for that matter.”

With Winslow, do you almost seeing him benefit from playing with Kobe the most because of his position?

Hill: “He might be a two at some point. But he has an impressive skillset. He’s very athletic and he can improve and he will. He has a chance to be an All-Star in this league. At some point, yeah, I think he has that kind of talent and ability. He has a huge, huge upside.”

What changed about Winslow’s game when you compare his regular season to the NCAA tournament?

Hill: “He was dealing with a bruised shoulder and broken rib most of the season. He was not at his best. I think the most important thing is he got healthy. When he got healthy, his ability at his position to defend and score and be effective really separated Duke from everyone else with how they were able to get on a roll and play at a high level at the end of the season. It was his defense and ability to dominate in a number of different ways on the defensive end and push the ball in transition to creating for himself and teammates.

He was just making big shots and big plays. That was the most impressive. When the team went on a run and Duke was struggling, all of a sudden Winslow hits a three and goes coast-to-coast on a layup or makes a spectacular block. He’s just making winning plays at the right time. That’s one of those things you can’t teach. It’s a certain quality you want on your team. He really showed me. Beforehand, it was hard to judge him because he was hurt. But watching him at that time and watching him in person, I was just like, ‘Wow, this guys is pretty special.’”

How does Arizona’s Stanley Johnson compare?

Hill: “I think he’s a very talented one too. But I didn’t see as much of him. I’m a big believer in watching guys in person. You see a lot more and you get a better feel. There are certain things you can’t get from television. He’s a stud as well and very well may be a top pick. He’s an athletic and versatile player that could do a number of different things on the court. This draft is shaping up to be a pretty good one. There’s some really good players at the top. If you have the first pick or the fifth pick, even maybe all the way to a 10th pick, you can get a good player that will be serviceable right away.”

Considering Jordan Clarkson’s development, to what degree do you think that will influence whether the Lakers put as much priority in pursuing a point guard in the draft?

Hill: I don’t know. The Lakers can take a number of different approaches to this. The beauty is they have a lot of decisions they can make. But it’s also tough. In some respects, you want to start over and rebuild. But you still have Kobe there, who’s going to bring a certain expectation. It’s a weird spot there in terms of what exactly is their goal. What are they trying to accomplish? Are they trying to prepare for the future? I would assume they are. Do you go big or go small? Do you try to get a serviceable guard, a point guard? Do you try to get a big guy? These are decisions you have to make and there’s good options there at all the positions. A lot of it depends on the direction they want to go.”

What’s your impressions of D’Angelo Russell’s game?

Hill: “I thought he was really skilled. He can make plays. He’s very crafty with the ball. He’s an underrated passer. He has a real special talent and has that ‘it’ factor that you can’t teach. In a league that is dominated by point guards, he is a young player that has a great command and ability to handle the game. He had some habits I saw that at times I didn’t like. But that’s attributed to his youth. But he is an elite player and great feel and shoots the ball, great off the dribble and fantastic passer. He has a chance to be really special.

What were the habits you didn’t like?

Hill: “It was little things. I saw something at the Big Ten [Tournament]. But I’d rather focus on the positives. He’s still learning. That’s the case for a lot of these guys. A lot of the players that are top guys are freshmen. They came in with the expectation of being top picks. These kids are still young and learning how to play. I think for example, Okafor, I thought he was terrible on defense. I thought he got a lot better. I thought he improved tremendously on pick-and-roll defense and defending in the post. These kids are still young. The challenge is to see who will continue to grow and anticipate which will ones will live up to the potential that they have.”

With the 2015 Final Four, former Duke star Grant Hill comes full circle … and then some

April 7th, 2015

By Chuck Culpepper, April 6
Original article on The Washington Post

Grant Hill (center) talks with fellow TV analysts Bill Raftery (left) and Jim Nantz (right) during the NCAA Men’s Final Four. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS — At 11, he went clear from Reston to Seattle with his father for the 1984 Final Four, where his mother’s absence meant the rules did slacken. The males did not specialize in hotel-room tidiness. They ate and slept when they wished, visited all the team hotels, saw a museum per his father’s cultural mandate and reveled in Georgetown’s national title.

At 18, he saw the 1991 Final Four from the actual victory podium, while his father stood there on the edge of the court, a former NFL star beholding a grown-up son with a fresh disbelief. “I can remember walking out of the Hoosier Dome and looking to the sky and saying, ‘I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this, but thank you, Lord,’” Calvin Hill said.

At 42, he — the son, Grant Hill — comes back to the 2015 Final Four as what he calls “a steward of this game.” With his 19-year NBA career in the books, Turner Sports and CBS Sports asked him to join a three-man broadcast team courtside, leaving him temporarily intimidated. “A lot of times in life, you get a promotion, and you just don’t think you’re ready, and you just do it,” he said.

They don’t use Grant Hill’s face as a perpetual Final Four logo, but they could do worse. As he claims to spot magic in the event, still, his face makes it seem as if little brackets roam his vessels. It would be hard to find anybody who has seen the Final Four from more — and more rarefied — angles. He has seen it as an 11-year-old lad let into the coaches’ party through his father’s pull, a 15-year-old who oughtn’t (and didn’t) go to the coaches’ party because the coaches had started recruiting him out of South Lakes High School, and a 42-year-old who says, “Hopefully now, I can get into the CBS party without sneaking in.”

In reporting that he has sustained his childlike view, he said, “Maybe part of it is I’m sentimental.”

He has gone to a Final Four as a kid who went ga-ga at spotting Missouri Coach Norm Stewart and North Carolina State Coach Jim Valvano. He has gone to a Final Four where he walked the concourse at Rupp Arena in Lexington in 1985, gawked at stars such as Walter Berry of St. John’s, tutored his father on what to watch — “He was watching the game at a more sophisticated level than I was,” Calvin said — and cried when Georgetown lost famously to Villanova. He has gone to a Final Four as a Duke freshman about to play mighty, unbeaten Nevada-Las Vegas in 1991, and he has felt nervous until UNLV won the opening jump, and he stole the ball, and he went in for a layup, and that quelled his nerves.

Hill (33) has seen the Final Four from a number of angles. (Ed Reinke/AP Photo)

He has gone to the Final Four as a Duke sophomore on a 1992 team exhausted from its season-long favorite role — it still won — and as the Hercules on a 1994 team that finished runner-up to Nolan Richardson’s Arkansas. And now Hill reaches the Final Four for yet another closing Monday night, on the sport’s biggest broadcast, for the Wisconsin-Duke final. Said analyst partner Bill Raftery, “I told him it’s become the longest walk, walking out of a place with him, ’cause I’ve got to wait every five feet for him to sign an autograph or take a picture.”

And: “He’s got a lot of juice for it.”

But for the genesis, he came to the Final Four as do most. “You know, it’s funny, I was a fan,” he said of those 1980s. “Like, I hated St. John’s. I hated Syracuse. Those were the rivals (of Georgetown). So I understand the passion that you have. Now, I’ve learned to appreciate and kind of love Lou Carnesecca and (Chris) Mullin and what they did (for St. John’s), but at the time as a kid it was like, ‘Ugh!’ So yeah, I lived it. I didn’t quite paint my face, but I was a diehard fan.”

Michael Jackson, the Georgetown point guard from 1981 to 1984, had grown up down the street. Janet Hill, Grant’s mother, had snared some season tickets. Michael Jordan, the North Carolina wonder, had hit the shot to beat Georgetown in 1982, and the new Hill family Betamax made its first recording with that. From there to 1990, Grant watched that tape “maybe 500 times,” he said.

Soon enough, Calvin Hill hatched the idea of father-son trips and asked Grant to choose a destination, and when led to five years of Final Fours, it also led to a parent’s wish. “The father in me wished I could buy this experience for him, and he could play on one of these teams,” Calvin said.

Then — good grief — he did. As he returns again, so does Calvin, and for a spokesman, the NCAA tournament could do worse than a former running back in Dallas, Cleveland and Washington: “It captivates the country. It involves the country. It involves the country in a different way than a World Series or the Super Bowl. It involves every part of the country. If you’re in the ACC, you’ve got somebody, or if you’re in the Ivy League. As difficult as it is for me, having gone to Yale, I’m rooting for Harvard. Of course, I’m also rooting for Duke all the time. But everybody has skin in the game. It’s just a wonderful, wonderful three weeks of unmitigated joy.”

This time, with Indianapolis again and Grant again, it got Calvin thinking about “how circular everything is.” He said, “It’s sort of surreal to me to see him in that (TV) role.” He also said, “I just think he has an understanding that the game, it’s a beautiful game, like the Brazilians talk about soccer.”

He also said, “Jeez, we’ve come more than 360 degrees.”

Sunday Q&A: Former Duke star Grant Hill

March 16th, 2015

Grant Hill will be on the Final Four announcing team with veterans Jim Nantz and Bill Raftery.
Photo: Ross D. Franklin • Associated Press

Original article on StarTribune

Former Duke and NBA great Grant Hill is working as a television analyst for CBS and Turner Sports during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Leading up to March Madness, Hill took time to chat with the Star Tribune’s Michael Rand about this year’s tournament and memories of past years.

Q Will Kentucky finish off this undefeated perfect season?

A Wow, well I’m paid to know these things, but I don’t know. You have to think they’re the team to beat. Their depth, their defense and their willingness to sacrifice, I think they’re a remarkable story. I will say that I have seen some slippage in their play. I don’t know if they’re as sharp as they were earlier in the year.

Q Who else has a realistic chance of winning the tournament?

A It’s very rare to see all the potential top seeds in the Final Four … but I do think there is a significant amount of separation between the top four or five teams and the rest of the country. I think Wisconsin, they have everybody back and the guy inside (Frank Kaminsky) is even better than he was last year. Duke is a team that’s certainly capable. But I fill out brackets every year like everyone else. And very rarely do I win. That’s the beauty of it. In the NBA, typically in a seven-game series, the best team wins. But here, the better team doesn’t always advance. That’s what makes it exciting.

Q What’s your assessment of former Apple Valley star Tyus Jones and his freshman year at Duke?

A I’ve been very impressed with Tyus. I had a chance to work out with him in August, but to watch him throughout the season and to see how poised and composed he is as a point guard throughout the game, and how clutch he is in those moments — he’s been great. He really is their closer. … At times he needs to be more aggressive, but that’s nitpicking. I’ve been very impressed. As a Duke fan, he’s been a pleasure to follow and watch.

Q We’re 23 years removed from that 1992 Final Four at the Metrodome, where your Duke team won a national title. What do you remember specifically from that time?

A It was the end of a two-year journey. We knew going in that the team and core of guys we had beginning with the year before was going to come to an end. The mind-set was to finish everything off and make sure we take care of business. As a team, collectively, our mind-set might have been different than the year before. … We were more comfortable, more confident. We were the hunted instead of the hunter. … We still went out and had a memorable Final Four, but it was more a sense of relief when we won and it was over.

Q The most memorable moment of that 1992 season, of course, was Christian Laettner’s shot after your long pass, to beat Kentucky in the region final. There’s a documentary debuting Sunday on ESPN called “I Hate Christian Laettner.” Why has he been such a polarizing figure?

A For the record, I love Christian Laettner. He was one of my favorite teammates. And outside of Michael Jordan, who I played with a few times in All-Star Games, when he was at Duke he was the best player I ever played with. He was unbelievable in college.

Basketball Great Grant Hill Honored With ‘Candle In The Dark’ Award

March 2nd, 2015

February 22, 2015
Original article

Grant receives Candle in the Dark Award

2015 A Candle In The Dark Gala took place at The Hyatt Regency Atlanta on February 21, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. Master and mistress of ceremonies was actress Melinda Williams and actor Darrin Henson during the black tie gala. “A Candle in the Dark” Gala honorees were presented with either a Candle or Bennie award. Candle Award recipients are honored for excellence in a variety of fields, including athletics, business, education, entertainment, government, law, military service, religion and science and technology. Grant Hill received the Candle Award in the area of Sports & Entertainment. His wife Tamia was in attendance as well to cheer him on!

Grant and Tamia

Turner Sports & CBS Sports Name Bill Raftery & Grant Hill Game Analysts for 2015 NCAA® Final Four & National Championship

February 3rd, 2015

Hill & Raftery Team with Jim Nantz for 2015 NCAA Tournament

Turner Sports and CBS Sports today announced that Bill Raftery and Grant Hill will call the NCAA Final Four and National Championship this year. Hill and Raftery will join the team of Jim Nantz and reporter Tracy Wolfson to call games together throughout the 2015 NCAA Tournament, culminating with the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Final Four and National Championship from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

This year’s NCAA Tournament marks the first time Raftery and Hill will call the Final Four and National Championship on television. The full NCAA Tournament commentator lineup will be announced at a later date.

Raftery is entering his 33rd year calling the NCAA Tournament. Hill will debut this year as a game analyst after joining the collective NCAA Tournament coverage last year as a studio analyst.

Nantz, Raftery, Hill and Wolfson will team for the first time to call the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament semifinals on Saturday, March 14, and championship game on Sunday, March 15, on CBS.

For the fifth consecutive year, CBS Sports and Turner Sports will provide live coverage of all 67 games from the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across four national television networks – TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. The Final Four on Saturday, April 4, will be televised on TBS and the National Championship on Monday, April 6 will air on CBS.

Hill, a two-time NCAA basketball champion at Duke University and member of the College Basketball Hall of Fame, joined Turner Sports in 2013 following a 19-year NBA career. He currently serves as a game and studio analyst for Turner Sports, as well as host of NBA TV’s weekly NBA Inside Stuff show.

Raftery joined CBS Sports in 1983. He has been a key member of the Network’s college basketball team, serving as a regular season and NCAA Tournament game analyst for 33 years. Raftery has been a game analyst for radio coverage of the NCAA Final Four for the last 23 years. He has been elected as a 2015 inductee for the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame.

For former Duke star Grant Hill, induction into college basketball hall is a family affair

November 24th, 2014


The newly inducted 2014 class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Ceremonies were held Sunday night at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. RICH SUGG / THE KANSAS CITY STAR

Grant Hill grew up loving basketball, and he admits he can thank his football-playing father, Calvin, for that.

During Grant’s teenage years, he and Calvin — a running back for the Dallas Cowboys — went on annual trips to the Final Four. It was quality time for father and son, a chance for them to share in the majesty of college basketball together.

On Saturday, before his induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday night in Kansas City, Grant allowed himself to reminisce about those times, and how sweet it was to have his entire family, particularly his father, witness the ceremony.

“He helped introduce me to the game, to college basketball,” Hill, 42, said of his father. “To have a chance to play in the Final Four and have it come full circle, now, to sort of celebrate what I was able to do and have my dad here, I know he’s just as excited and proud as I am.”

Grant Hill, who starred for Duke from 1990 to 1994 and won two national championships, could not have been more correct. While he spoke to reporters in a pre-induction news conference, Calvin Hill stood a few feet away, beaming alongside the rest of the family — Grant’s mother, Janet, Grant’s wife, Tamia, and their daughters, Myla and Lael.

Duke was well-represented at the induction ceremony as well, in spirit. In a video tribute to Hill, Blue Devils past and present praised the 1994 consensus All-America, and coach Mike Krzyzewski issued the highest compliment, calling Hill, “the most talented player I’ve coached at Duke.”

Calvin Hill also allowed for some reflection. Time goes fast, and they’ve certainly come a long way.

Calvin remembers walking around at the 1985 Final Four at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., allowing himself to think about how cool it would be if his son could one day play in a Final Four.

“His eyes are big, and mine are, too, looking at the festival that is the Final Four,” Calvin Hill said. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘This is unbelievable. As a father, wouldn’t it be great if he could just be a part of something like this?’”

So, when the dream came true during the 1991 Final Four — Grant Hill’s freshman year at Duke — Calvin Hill was grateful.

“As a father, as a parent, anything you’ve done pales in comparison to anything your kids do because you want the best for them and you worry,” he said. “I remember walking outside in Indianapolis that year and looking up in the sky, and just saying ‘God, I don’t know what I did to deserve this, but thank you.’

“It’s been a blessing to follow him.”

Janet Hill acknowledged that when her husband took Grant on those trips to the Final Four, he never did it with the thought his son would one day become a college star.

“He took him, really, for some alone time with him,” Janet said with a laugh.

But those trips did shape Grant Hill, and for that, he is grateful to his father. He also is grateful for his 18-year NBA career, which was marred in his prime by significant ankle injuries. Still, Grant Hill has made peace with this.

“I had the injuries, and things got derailed,” he said. “But I know I had to really fight to resume my career. I’m more proud of what I was able to do after the injury than before. I knew it took a lot of fight and grit to come back and play after nine years.”

One thing retirement has given him plenty of time for is reflection.

“Having just retired, having a chance to reflect on your career, it’s something I really value,” he said. “I understand how lucky I was.”

That’s why the ceremony Sunday night meant so much to him and his family.

“It is an honor to be honored,” Tamia Hill of her husband. “He’s not a guy who mentions getting honored a lot, but he made sure we were all here, and it means a lot to him. It does.”

Grant Hill is certainly not alone there. Calvin Hill said he was “afraid to pinch” himself following the ceremony, and Grant Hill couldn’t have been happier that his father was in attendance.

“The journey started a long time ago,” Grant Hill said. “And for him to still be here is great.”

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com.

Grant Hill’s full court press: He wants to own an NBA team

September 30th, 2014

By Jessica Golden, Field Producer

After back-to-back college championships at Duke and a nearly 20-year professional career, seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill said his next dream is owning his own NBA team.

Rebounding from a $1.2 billion failed bid to buy the Los Angeles Clippers, Hill is going back to the drawing board and looking for the next opportunity to become an owner.

“We made a strong attempt for the Clippers that we thought was pretty aggressive but in the end we came up short,” Hill said on CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report.”

More than six bidders, including Hill and his partners Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh, bid on the Clippers in August after the Sterling Family Trust put the team up for sale following racist remarks by longtime team owner Donald Sterling. Ultimately, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was the highest bidder, purchasing the team for a record $2 billion.

“It would be more disappointing if it was a closer winning bid but you can’t argue with that [$2 billion],” Hill said. “For that team and franchise, I think someone like Ballmer, with his passion, energy and deep pockets, is what is needed.”

Photo: Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Hill, managing principal of Penta Mezzanine Fund and an NBA analyst on Turner Sports, said he won’t let his failed bid discourage him from future attempts at team ownership.

“I’m an insider. I have goodwill from my time in the league and a unique perspective that most owners don’t have,” he said.

After playing for four separate NBA teams, Hill said he spent a lot of time educating himself and talking to executives like former Detroit Pistons Owner William Davidson about the business side of the NBA.

“I spent a lot of time picking his brain,” Hill said.

Hill said he’s bullish on the NBA and expects team valuations and player salaries to continue to rise over the next 10 to 15 years.

Clearly aware of supply and demand, Hill said: “It’s a great asset and there is only 30 of them.”


June 11th, 2014

Grant and Calvin Hill Talk About Team Ownership, The Clashing World of Cultural Issues and The Challenges of Professional Athletes Today

Features most recent and timely sit-down with the NFL Legend and his Superstar NBA son

New York, NY (June 2, 2014) – EPIX, the premium entertainment network, announced today that the premiere of a new 30-minute special series, “Personal with Bill Rhoden,” will air on Wednesday, June 11 at 8pm ET with a pair of America’s most elite athletes and personalities, NFL Hall-of-Famer Calvin Hill and his son, recently retired NBA superstar Grant Hill. Recorded last month in Atlanta, the show will touch on many of the current topics in American sports, from the Donald Sterling situation to race relations and the changing views and acceptance of the LGBT community to the on-going issues professional athletes and men of color face in society today. In the discussion, Grant talks frankly about his dealing with Sterling and the challenges of being a professional athlete today, while Calvin gives his unique perspective on the same issues from the vantage point of both a parent and a legendary star in the NFL. Bill Rhoden, an award-winning sports journalist with The New York Times, conducts the up close and intimate interview.

“We are very excited to have these two iconic personalities as our first guests on ‘Personal with Bill Rhoden,’” said Mark Greenberg EPIX CEO. “Our goal with all our documentaries is to discuss the issues of today, and we could not have a more timely presentation. It will be a memorable half-hour presented only as a journalist like Bill Rhoden can do.”

Grant Hill was a seven time All-Star during an 18 year NBA career with the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers following an All-America career at Duke University, where he helped lead the Blue Devils to a pair of NCAA Titles. Calvin Hill was a four-time Pro Bowl selection during a 13-year career with the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns after a standout career as a collegian at Yale University. They also have the unique tie of being a father/son combination to have both been named Rookie of the Year in their respective sports, Calvin in 1969-70 and Grant in 1994 – 95. More importantly than their work on the field was the respect both have gained in the business world and in their personal lives as role models and mentors to people of all ages, creeds and color.

Personal with Bill Rhoden” is a give and take between two generations of elite athletes, as each plays off Rhoden’s questions on the world we live in today and where athletes and race factor into bigger discussions in society. Calvin Hill touches on the issues he faced in the segregated south and how he has had to adjust some of his views as the world has evolved with a new-found social acceptance of people from diverse backgrounds, while Grant Hill expounds upon the use of social media as a tool for athletes to have a voice today, his reaction to the goings-on around the LA Clippers (which he is purportedly involved with one of the bidding groups), and the new-found consciousness of the American athlete in the world today, among other topics.

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For more information visit http://press.epix.com

Personal with Bill Rhoden” is an EPIX Original Presentation produced by Starship SA, LLC. Seth G. Abraham and Tim Braine are the co-executive producers, Paul James is the director and Ross Bernard is the Executive-in-charge of production for EPIX. Abraham, who formerly headed up HBO Sports, Time Warner Sports and was the President of Madison Square Garden, founded Starship SA LLC in 2004. Braine is a multi-award winning producer of televised sports, documentaries and comedy for HBO. James has directed hundreds of national commercials and promos as well as written & directed original content for brands and corporations including HP, Sony®, HBO, Arm & Hammer®, Glad, Showtime, ESPN and CBS.

“I have wanted to create an interview program like this for 30 years and we could not have found a better way to start the series than with Grant and Calvin,” said Abraham. “Bill Rhoden’s style brought out the best in them, and we think he has set a new standard for the interview with his work on this inaugural show.”

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View original press release.