By Robert T. Balint, Sports Roundtable
Grant Hill has an eye on the future. “In my world, competition is fierce on and off the court,” the Phoenix Suns forward says in a new public service announcement. “It’s more important than ever to prepare the next generation to face challenges head on.”
Hill believes exposure to the arts is significant to that preparation. That’s why he signed on to be campaign spokesperson for The Choice is Art, a four-year statewide campaign by the Arizona Commission on the Arts to promote access to arts education.
In his first PSA for the program, Hill describes the positive effects that the arts bring: “The arts teach skills like discipline, dedication and teamwork. And for kids struggling with academic, social or family challenges, the arts can change lives.”
Hill is no stranger to the arts; he and his wife, Grammy-nominated singer Tamia Hill have been longtime patrons. In fact, their 46-pierce collection of African-American art went on tour as the Something All Our Own: The Grant Hill Collection of African American Art exhibition from 2003-2006. The collection featured several major works from acclaimed artists Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Hughie Lee Smith and John Biggers.
“From a young age, my father instilled in me a respect for well-crafted and historically significant artifacts and works of art,” Hill writes in a letter of support for the campaign. “He took me to museums and taught me to appreciate the energetic vision of artists, especially African-American artists. This family tradition of collecting is another reason I continue to acquire impactful works of art. Now, as a father myself, I recognize the value of passing this appreciation on to my two children. They have a natural affinity for creative works, and it is inspiring to see them make their own artistic discoveries.”
A veteran of the NBA, Hill graduated from Duke University in 1994 and became one of the best all-around players in the league at that time, sharing Rookie of the Year Award honors with Jason Kidd. After being plagued with injuries throughout the prime of his career, Hill came to Phoenix in 2007 and joined Steve Nash as a team captain. He won his first career playoff series victory in 2010, when the Suns swept the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals, and averaged 13.2 points per game in the 2010-11 season.