"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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Grant’s Unedited Response to the Fab Five’s Documentary

Due to space constraints, the editorial posted in the New York Times was shortened. Read Grant’s full, unedited response to the Fab Five’s comments in their recent documentary here.

I am a fan, friend and long time competitor of the Fab Five.  This should not be a surprise because I am a contemporary of every member of that iconic team.  I have competed against Jalen and Chris since the age of 13.  Jalen, Chris, and Juwan are my friends and have been for 25 years.  At Michigan, they represented a cultural phenomenon that impacted the country in a permanent and positive way.  The very idea of the Fab Five elicited pride and promise in much the same way the Georgetown teams did in the mid-80s when I was in high school and idolized them.   Their journey from youthful icons to successful men today is a road map for so many young, black men (and women) who saw their journey through the powerful documentary, Fab Five.

It was a sad and somewhat pathetic turn of events, therefore, to see friends narrating this interesting documentary about their moment in time and calling me a bitch and worse, calling all black players at Duke “Uncle Toms” and, to some degree, disparaging my parents for their education, work ethic and commitment to each other and to me.  I should have guessed there was something regrettable in the documentary when Jay Williams and I received a Twitter apology from Jalen before its airing.  And, I am aware Jalen has gone to some length to explain his remarks about my family in numerous interviews, so I believe he has some admiration for them.

In his garbled but sweeping comment that  “Duke only recruits black Uncle Toms,” Jalen seems to change the usual meaning of those very vitriolic words into his own meaning, i.e., blacks from two-parent, middle class families.  He leaves us all guessing exactly what he believes today.   And, I wonder if I would have suggested to former Detroit Pistons GM Rick Sund to keep Jimmy King on the team if I had known, back then in the mid-90s, that he would call me a bitch on a nationally televised show in 2011.

I am beyond fortunate to have two parents who are still working well into their 60s.  They received great educations and use them every day.   My parents taught me a personal ethic I try to live by and pass on to my children.  They remain committed to each other after more than 40 years and to my wife, Tamia, our children, and me.  They are my role models and always will be.

I come from a strong legacy of black Americans.  My namesake, Henry Hill, my father’s father, was a day laborer in Baltimore.  He could not read or write until he was taught to do so by my grandmother.   His first present to my dad was a set of encyclopedias, which I now have to remind me of the importance of education.  He wanted his only child, my father, to have a good education, so he made numerous sacrifices to see that he got an education, including attending Yale.   This is part of our great tradition as black Americans.  We aspire for the best or better for our children and work hard to make that happen for them.  Jalen’s mother is part of our great, black tradition and made the same sacrifices for him.

It is unbeknownst to me what Jalen meant by his convoluted reference to black players at Duke considering how little he knows about any of them.  My teammates—all of them, black and white—were a band of brothers who came together to play at the highest level for the best coach in basketball.   I know most of the black players who preceded and followed me at Duke.  They all contribute to our tradition of excellence on the court. It is insulting and ignorant to suggest that men such as Johnny Dawkins (coach at Stanford), Tommy Amaker (coach at Harvard), Billy King (GM at the Nets), Tony Lang (coach of the Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins in Japan ), Thomas Hill (small business owner in Texas), Jeff Capel (former coach at Oklahoma), Kenny Blakeley (assistant coach at Harvard), Jay Williams (ESPN analyst), Shane Battier (Memphis Grizzlies) or Chris Duhon (Orlando Magic) now or ever sold out their race.   To hint that those who grew up in a household with a mother and father are somehow less black than those who did not is beyond ridiculous.  All of us are extremely proud of the current team, especially Nolan Smith.  He was raised by his mother, plays in memory of his late father and carries himself with the pride and confidence that they instilled in him.  He is the quintessential young Dukie.

The sacrifice, the effort, the education and the friendships I experienced in my four years are priceless and cherished.  The many Duke graduates I have met around the world are also my “family,” and they are a special group of people.    A good education is a privilege.   At Duke, the expectations are high for all of us.   Just as Jalen has founded a charter school in Michigan, we are expected to use our education to help others, to improve life for those who need our assistance and to use the excellent education we have received to better the world.   The total experience at Duke taught us to think before we act, to pause before we speak and to realize that as adults we have a responsibility to do good, not just do well.   A highlight of my time at Duke was getting to know the late, great John Hope Franklin, James B. Duke Professor of History and the leading scholar of the last century on the total history of African Americans in this country.  His insights and perspectives contributed significantly to my overall development and helped me understand myself, my forefathers, and my place in the world.

Ad ingenium faciendum, toward the building of character, is a phrase I recently heard.  To me, it is the essence of an educational experience.  Struggling, succeeding, trying again and having fun within a nurturing but competitive environment built character in all of us, including every black graduate of Duke.

My mother always says, “You can live without Chaucer and you can live without calculus, but you cannot make it in the wide, wide world without common sense.” As we get older, we understand the importance of these words.  Adulthood is nothing but a series of choices:  you can say yes or no, but you cannot avoid saying one or the other.  In the end, those who are successful are those who adjust and adapt to the decisions they have made and make the best of them.   I only hope I can instill in my children the same work ethic, the same values, the same common sense approach to life and the same pursuit of excellence my parents, Coach K and Duke gave me.

I caution my fabulous five friends to avoid stereotyping me and others they do not know in much the same way so many people stereotyped you back then for your appearance and swagger.  I wish for you the restoration of the bond that made you friends, brothers and icons.  I hope you reach closure with your university so you will enjoy all the privileges of its greatness.

I try to live my life as a good husband and father.  I am proud of my family.  I am proud of my Duke championships and all my Duke teammates.  And, I am proud I never lost a game against the Fab Five.

Grant Henry Hill
Phoenix Suns
Duke ‘94

631 Responses to “Grant’s Unedited Response to the Fab Five’s Documentary”

  1. Malou Cruz says:

    I have always been a fan and admired your passion for the game and the classroom. You are a great role model for all people and truly are the “quintessential Dukie”. Thank you for putting the Fab Five in their place. I appreciate your tenacity for defending your family and Duke. I am a bigger fan now than ever…

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Junior says:

    I’m appalled by comments made by the Jalen Rose towards Grant Hill.

    After spending numerous summers during the 80’s on the campus at the University of Michigan, I’m not surprised by the ignorance of another spoiled inner city athlete. Numerous African American women would complain that the male athletes (black football and basketball players), ignored them on campus while seeking while seeking out women of the other race.

    Maybe Mr. Rose should spend more time challenging the diversity mix of the “Executive Board” at his current employer parent company instead of spewing out venom against a former rival.

    Great job Grant, Mr. Rose comments was inappropriate and without merit.

    Mr. Rose, please don’t insult my intelligence and keep smiling “Uncle Charlie”!

    Jr.
    Proud to be Black
    BS Eastern Michigan University 1990
    MS Eastern Michigan University 2009

  3. MODI says:

    Dear Mr. Hill,

    I am a great admirer of both you and Jalen Rose for the work that you have both done on and especially off the court.

    I finally watched the documentary this week, and my perception was similar to that posted by Francis Goode. I sincerely thought that in words and context, Rose was not insulting you — but actually expressing admiration for your upbringing. Having stated that, I do fully understand that we all perceive differently — especially when we are the ones personally involved. Having not lived in your shoes, I don’t begrudge your response.

    …And yet, here we are over a week later, and the mainstream national media has taken your response and ran with it for far longer and with far more divisiveness than any of us could have imagined. Now it has become the ONLY story of the Fab Five documentary — and a poorly discussed one at that. (And I’m not just referring to Skip Bayless!)

    Where is Fab Five-induced debate about the rising cost of colleges at both private and public institutions for those without means who can’t play ball? Where is the rich discussion on the exploitation and unpaid labor of the college athlete who works their tail off while everyone but millions off him? And where is the national dialogue on the racist hate mail received by Fab Five players and its relevance to today’s Obama-inspired racial backlash that includes a recent sharp rise in hate-groups, crazy new laws in your new home state, and a new white-washing of HS curricula that goes against all of John Hope Franklin’s life’s work?

    Meanwhile, national media continues to misuse and manipulate your article to avoid talking about any of these real institutional issues in favor of fostering division in an endless manner that is almost never applied to “feuding” white athletes.

    One illustrative example has been the DECADE long feud between Lance Armstrong and Greg Lemond on Lance’s steroid use. Both have even been SI’s “Sportsman of the Year”. But when another NY paper (Daily News) ran multiple stories over the years on the feud, the national media simply ignored it. No national website articles, no ethical radio-debates, no ESPN wall-to-wall TV coverage… Hill-Rose? McNabb-T.O.? Even as much as one-line tweet by Ryan Grant on Adrian Peterson? All day and all night.

    At this juncture in time, both you and Jalen are mutual victims of a media double-standard routinely applied to all black athletes regardless of socio-economic upbringing.

    Perhaps it is not too late for you and Jalen to redirect the reckless media machine. Perhaps a follow-up NYT reflective article, a joint letter by you and Jalen, or even a friendly joint press conference imploring the sports media to address some of the real issues addressed in Fab Five with the same vigor that they exploit “feuding” African-Amercan athletes. Please do consider.

    Either way, both you and Jalen and the tremendous achievements will continue to be a personal source of inspiration. Good luck with your playoff push.

    Sincerely,

    Charles M.

  4. Bill Copeland says:

    Mr Hill
    You are one impressive person. I always appreciated how you have played the game of basketball and your overall personal and professional demeanor.
    My respect has risen to a new high level with your NYT response to Mr Rose’s offensive comments. You clearly put forth compelling arguments that totally debunk the Rose comments. As a long time Stanford basketball season ticket holder I have had the opportunity to see Johnny Dawkins up close and personal for the past 3 years. He is one great individual as are you. The black community needs more role models like you and Mr Dawkins and fewer opportunistic self promoters like Mr Rose.
    Please maintain your aggressive posture and your position as a wonderful role model for ALL Americans.
    All the best,
    Bill Copeland

  5. dmh says:

    Grant-
    I have always been a fan of yours because of the way you played. You were a star, but you were a real man first. That quality is so rare in college and pro ranks nowdays it seems. Anyways…
    In any rivalry, no matter how big or small long-lived or short lived there are petty nuances that each school has with the other. Most of them are based on nothing but a prior game in which feelings were riled up. Some are based on proximity of the rival school. No matter what they are based on, these feelings cause people to say things about men that they wouldn’t otherwise say.
    That being said… Jalen Rose should have done a better job of emphasizing the fact that it was a prior feeling stirred up by a silly college rivalry. I am sure that the trashtalk between Duke and North Carolina for example, is much worse. I am sure that there is a deep mutual respect nowdays between you and all of the UNC alum in the league. (with maybe some minor trashtalk around March Madness time for good measure of course) Either way, I don’t see Jalen’s production career taking off too soon. lol He needs to learn to tell the rest of the story before he throws his proverbial stones.

  6. Mr Hill has always been a class act. And very fortunate like he said to have parents who achieved, cared, and raised him right. I remember watching him play great basketball at Duke. Great article here. All the best.

  7. Good Shot says:

    Grant,

    I’m puzzled by your response. It was clear to me while watching the show that the Fab Five were discussing feelings that they had when they were teens, not today. I appreciated the Fab Five’s honesty in the documentary.

    Your response seems way over the top in my opinion although you did open a dialogue about an aspect of black American culture that is rarely discussed. God bless you and Jalen and keep up the great work. You two are true role models.

  8. Hameed Shareef says:

    I am not a Duke fan but I have alway been a fan of yours and admire you as a person.I agree with most of the comments that have been stated.I feel that Jalen stated how he felt as a young man from a different enviroment.I have been working as a counselor for the Department of Corrections for 20yrs and sometimes it is difficult to understand the attitudes and thoughts of our youn African American males.That is what makes Jalen a special person.He used his enviromet as fuel to better and not to become a bad human being.Both of you are great role models.Please for the young African American youth of today,both of you come together and show that regardless of your enviroments that both of you are godd decent men who revere your status as a role model.

  9. Phil G. Robinson says:

    I believe if we don’t truly listen and not just hear what a person is saying that we will never have an understanding of where they are coming from, weather their statement is correct or incorrect. I truly believe that the point Jalen was trying to make is that it’s the system. The system once again is telling 1 black youth that you aren’t accepted here because of your surroundings, although you have no personal control over them. Jalen was an honor student in highschool and a McDonalds all-amercian bball player but due to the facts that he was an urban youth being raised in tough conditions he feels as though Duke wouldn’t recruit a kid like him. That’s what make alot of urban youth have the chip on their shoulders because once again due to situations out of your control your being told your not good enough for this place here.What was the real difference between Jalen’s life coming up and Grant’s? Both their fathers were pro athletes and their mothers hard working women but Grant’s father was a father and Jalen’s father wasn’t. To some schools like Duke, that translates as a broken child to them and that’s the real prejudice here.The same way everyone has something to say about Jalen’s perception of black kids who went to Duke (when he was 18) we should really also try to find out Duke’s perception of young black kids who aren’t afforded the privileges of private school educations? I’m sure if Jalen’s kids were to become major highschool bball players that they would probably be recruited by Duke and that’s because of the fact that Jalen is in a position to have them being educated by the upperclass education system. Now let me ask you. What would be the real difference between Jalen and his kids because I’m sure he is raising them with the same values that he was raised with? Many times in the lives of afro americans we are hit with the reality that world is about the haves & the have nots and if you don’t have it than you will not get the same opportunity.I hope alot us us wake up and stop acting like Jalen’s comment was the issue, when the real issue about this situation is staring us dead in the face once again.

  10. J.C. Green says:

    March 25th, 2011

    You Are Too Nice !!! The Documentary Sucked !! They Are Really Not That Intellectual !!! And More Ignorant Than Anything Else !!

    Later,
    The Legend !!
    J.C. Green

  11. Terrence Autry says:

    Thank You, Grant Hill. It takes character, values, and discipline to offer the response you gave. African-Americans should never have to apologize for their hard work, education and success. It is a rich legacy that has guided us through troubled and difficult years. I have always admired you, but you have now elevated my admiration to another level. Bless you.

  12. Brian B. says:

    Mr. Hill, while I understand your strong response and the shocking nature of the terms used by Rose and others in the documentary, I think everyone has vastly overblown what the Fab Five were saying at this point in the film.

    They were not calling you or any of your teammates “Uncle Toms” (and more) at this point in your lives or careers. They were not even calling you these demeaning terms from their vantage point now. What Rose and the others were saying was that this was their view of Duke as 18-year-old boys out of high school. This was their view as fresh recruits before ever playing one minute against Duke and before meeting any of you. The whole context of the film is the Fab Five looking back and letting the world know what was going through their minds as events transpired. I don’t know how you or anyone in the media could have miscontrued this so badly.

    The most controversial point of the film, when Rose began talking about your family, is probably one of the least controversial things at this point in the film. Rose is only saying that he had a difficult upbrining and that looking at your life made him bitter because of the difficulty in his life. He’s not saying you or your family was flawed and he’s not saying they are perfect either. He is just saying that you had differenct childhoods and that as an 18-year-old boy he was slightly envious of yours.

    I’m not sure where any of the controversy that has risen out of this film is even coming from. It is simply a misunderstanding of any sort of context of their comments.

  13. Aarl Hunter says:

    I enjoyed your response. I was a fan of your father when he played for Dallas and have been a fan and followed your career from Duke to Phoenix with admiration. in 1965 I worked at VA West Side Hospital in Chicago with a black oral surgeon, Russ Dixon, who’s father graduated from Northwestern University Dental School and became Dean and President of Howard University. Russ related many of the same issues of growing up in a successful family and many of the other experiences you recite.
    I enjoy watching Duke play as Coach K seems to have the capacity to have them play as a team and with dignity regardless of color.

  14. Alona says:

    Grant-

    Thank you for this very personal and in-depth response. I appreciate you for giving us all insight into what you think about the Fab Five Documentary.

    I’m not an avid basketball follower and only learned of the documentary and the players’ comments after reading your post. However, I have long been inspired by you and your wife’s philanthropic efforts, and therefore have been a long time fan of yours. Because of your post, I decided to watch the video. Because of it, I’m now a fan of the Fab Five and Jalen Rose in particular.

    Let me explain. As a 24 year old black female, that did not come from a solidly middle class or college educated family, I could definitely relate to Jalen’s jealousy and resentment. I also see why you were disturbed by his statements. But, after watching the documentary, I could definitely see why he said what he said. I don’t think it tarnished your legacy or the legacy that your parents worked so hard to build at all. If anything, it sort of highlighted all that you all were able to accomplish in a weird way. I just took it as Jalen expressing his frustration with the nation’s obsession with separating and classifying blacks as either “good” or “bad” and treating them accordingly. I know the pain of being told that everything you are and everything you stand for is wrong: your music, your clothing, your friends, your family, the way you talk and act. On the other hand, my father’s side of the family more closely exemplifies your story of hard working black folks that achieve, despite everything that’s stacked against them. So, I can relate to you both. And now,I am a lifelong fan of you both. I don’t know what King was talking about, but I’ll let him explain his comments.

    I’m only writing this post in the hopes that you, as a strong black man and an example for us all, no matter our color, will find some comfort in knowing that Jalen’s comments tarnished neither your legacy or his. I appreciate any time people can speak candidly about class or race. So, although you might have been hurt initially your comments and his have allowed us all to take a look at what you all went through and what you all achieved in spite of the stigma that you ALL faced.

    Thank you both for your stories and for you contributions to basketball history! And tell your wife, as an aspiring singer, I LOVED and was inspired by her last album and plan on buying her next one soon!

    Best,

    Alona

  15. Gerrod says:

    I’m fan as well (even though you should have gone to Herndon) and I applaud you for your response. It’s unfortunate that we have folks who look across the table and make sweeping statements based on stupidity and ignorance. The last time I checked Michigan is not an “easy” school to get into, it’s not cheap, and it isn’t D-III. Mr. Rose certainly used his opportunity to go beyond and perhaps he should check himself. I’m pretty sure there is a brother or two who didn’t get his opportunity either.

    Stay on your path and keeping helping those along the way. I know I am.

  16. Anthony says:

    Grant,

    I believe the issues that the Fab Five talked about regarding Duke University happened well before you attended Duke. I am a fan of the Fab Five and was a fan also of the UNLV Running Rebels and the same attitude that was projected by Duke coaches, alumni, players etc happened when UNLV played Duke. The sad reality is that your dismay to what Jalen and the other said proves the point of disconnect with your alma mater and what they project to the public. When the media called the Fab Five thugs and the game between Duke and Michigan “Good Vs Evil” as it happened when Duke played UNLV. No one on the Duke coaching staff or players said they disagreed with that assessment.

    In fact Duke played to that resentment of an all black college player basketball team as they played into that with UNLV. The history of this going along with racist opinions and ideas is there with Duke University. I am saddened that you cannot acknowledge why those things about you and Duke were said by understanding the history. Would Duke recruit players like Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Ray Jackson, Jimmy King or Juwan Howard. The answer is clearly NO! otherwise they would have.

  17. chorton says:

    I grew up much like Jalen Rose as a poor black youth with a broken home in the latter stages of my elementary and junior high years. I understand the statements of a young frustrated inner city black kid who wanted life to be “fair”. But its just that, as you mature you learn life is not always fair and you understand that we make the best of our situation, no matter what social class or home environment we are born into. I had no choice to the family I was born to, just as both Grant and Jalen, but we do have a choice as to how we proceed forward with our own lives, views and how we affect others. I thank God for my single mom with no more than a high school education sacrificing enough for us to move us to a one bedroom apartment in the suburbs, just to have a shot at a better education and life. Ultimately that made the difference in me finishing college and grad school. I do hope that Jalen feels differently about those consider “fortunate” as I do, and would only hope that he continues to elevate his community through positive efforts, so more inner city minorities have the start we did’nt…positive role models. I admire both Grant and Jalen for making the most of their respective situations by being role models for all black americans from two different ends of the spectrum. Though our journeys and struggles maybe different our goals should be the same, to make the most of what we have been given down here to change the world positively and respect our fellow man. My only hope is that Mr. Rose will make a more public clarification of his current stance on an otherwise great documentary. I am a Grant and Duke fan and will always respect what the Fab Five did for branding the college game.

  18. Manou C. says:

    Hi, Ijust wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your writing style. You write in a way that is clear, concise, and fun to read. Thanks!

  19. SLS says:

    Mr. Hill
    Forgive Jalen. He was only being honest about what emotions he had in 1992. Back then, the only difference between both of you besides your socioeconomic status was that you grew up in suburbia and were expected (by society) to act like you were from across the tracks. He was from the hood, society expected him to act his part too and making use of the dialect is a large part of that act.
    I believe he knows better now. I truly believe he is leaving his mark and making it better for someone by setting an example.

    I don’t believe that Jalen Rose’s comments were vicious; they (Jalen and his team mates) were speaking what our society believed and how many acted or reacted to cultural changes at the time. At least he spoke what he believed to be his truth from that time.

    The Fab Five had to exist as they were because our society expected them to be thuggish. Now, more will know that they weren’t, you all were teenagers working your way through the maturation process called life. Think of all the negativity that they were subjected to for the time they were at Michigan. How many times at Duke were you subjected to disparaging comments?

    I am a 51 year old African Am female from a proud family originating in the South but I grew up in the Northwest. My grandmother was the mayor of a small Southern town where my grandparents were the first family of color to move across the tracks in 1981. To this day, there still aren’t many families of color living on more than one side of the tracks. I write this because I am reminded that yes, we have changed in our country but the reality is that we still have a long way to go.

    I grew up being called an ‘Uncle Tom/Aunt Sally’ to my face (sad to say) on more than one occasion. In my life time, my parents and family always wanted us to do better. They insisted that we speak with eloquence, read, become educated and be of service. All of that makes you different to those who may not be as well educated, who may not have as many opportunities as you have and who may not have the drivers or motivation to reach the next rung of the ladder.

    In 1989, I had to hold it all in when I visited my grandparents in that small Southern town and an older man called my grandfather ‘boy.’ Now, he was not a boy by any stretch of your imagination. There I stood, watching as that proud man who served his country with honor, was a successful business man, who had reared a family of successful children was made into a nothing because someone wanted to live in the past.

    Once in the early 90s, I called someone about an apartment for rent. I asked him a few questions; he politely provided responses to my questions. Toward the end of our conversation, he stated that since this apartment was in a Section 8 neighborhood, it may be a little dark for me. At the time, I was an E5 in the US Navy and thought this Section 8 thing may be a good idea (I had no clue what it really meant, I was not of that world). I paused and had to ask what exactly did that mean. To wit, he said – unless you have a deep dark tan, you won’t want to live there. I laughed and told him that perhaps he should know more about his customers because I did indeed have a dark tan, I just did not sound like I had one.

    Despite being an upwardly mobile African Am family, we too have experienced our share of reverse discrimination. What I learned from all forms of discrimination that I have crossed is – go ahead and let them speak their mind; just give me five minutes to show you that there is a better way. We do need to let it go. So many continue to hold it in, make disparaging comments in private, have those same thoughts in public and then let it slip. I am also thankful that now, our society is not so hung up on African Am dialect is not the norm. Thank heavens that we have progressed beyond that.

    Keep the faith – ‘laundry is the only thing that should be separated by color.’ Stay blessed.

  20. fcf says:

    I can understand Jalen’s thoughts from back in the day, and I think it would had been dishonest not to express his true feelings no matter how hurtful. As a youth I went to a high school in N.Y. that had more whites than blacks, and I was called uncle tom because I was friends with the white kids. Although I played and stared in all three sports, Baseball was my favorite, and my best, most of the brothers played basketball and football, there wasn’t much intrest in baseball.In the summers we would travel from state to state in the north east playing whom ever we could. The results was I went to college to play baseball,after four year at Winston-Salem I was drafted by the Kanas City Royals. My life long dream was to play baseball, I had my chance and it was do to the guys and coaches of the day. It was very hurtful to casted out by your and called uncle tom by the same people who live next door to you.to compound my problems, my father and uncle were NYC policeman. As adults those same kids that called me and my brother those names know claim us as friends and assets to the town. it seams that time and age heels all wounds. The facts are that even with the past remarks and bad feelings from the fad five to Grant Hill were twenty years ago.”let sleeping dogs lie.

  21. Elena says:

    First of all, please let me say that you, Bobby Hurley, and Coach K are the reasons I fell in love with college basketball. I have always been impressed with the love that the three of you have for the game, and for the gentlemanly behavior that Coach K seems to instill in all of his boys.

    I so appreciate that you have been such an outstanding presence in basketball, and that you have striven to do so much good for others.

    Thank you for being such an amazing basketball player and such an amazing citizen. The world could use many more of you!

    And to Jalen Rose: I hope that things settle down for you, as I suspect that you didn’t mean to cause the pain that your words have caused. You and the rest of the Fab Five are very talented, as are all of the young men who have played for Mike Krzyzewski!

  22. Until Grant Hill’s arrival at Duke, I was a UNC fan. After following Grant at South Lakes High School(Reston, Virginia) from my hometown of Newark, New Jersey, I knew Grant Hill was special.

    I can only say, the moronic and idiotic comments spewed by Jalen Rose were out of obvious jealousy, envy and resentment. Feelings that should have been reserved for the father that abandoned him, NOT Grant Hill!

    I grew up in the inner-city of Newark, New Jersey and saw lots of violence, poverty and misery. Far too many black men believe education is NOT cool and is symbolic of “acting white.” Which is beyond ridiculous!

    Many young black men believe prison and pre-mature death is a “right of passage.” The carnage, reckage and gaping voids left in the souls of young black because of absentee fathers is far too prevalent.

    Jalen’s vitriol and demeaning words are a clear indication he “still” harbors feelings of resentment and malice towards Grant and the other black basketball players who attended Duke University.

    Again, his ill feelings are sorely misplaced, as “his father” was the “cause and effect” of his bitterness and resentment.

    Needless to say, Grant Hill has ALWAYS been one of my favorite athletes, not only because of his skill as a great basketball player, but because of his class, grace and
    dignity.

    It’s funny, a co-worker who is black and a graduate of the Univerity Of Georgia said, man, it would have taken me a month to write such an eloquent response. I told him, Grant obviously played basketball at Duke, but he also recieved a top-notch education (seriously doubt ANY of The Fab Five could have expressed themselves so eloquently). However,it’s unfortunate Grant Hill is the exception, and not enough of “the rule” for our young black men who truly believe they aren’t men until they go to prison.

    Grant and his parents are a shining example of what we as black people can and should aspire to be.

    In closing,and unfortunately, Jalen Rose is who I thought he was. And Grant Hill is “exactly” who I thought he was, A CLASS ACT!!!

  23. Yamiuris says:

    Aside from Grant’s talent, there is a reason why he is so respected…just read all of the above!

    Very eloquent response Mr. Hill.

  24. [...] the New York Times, Rise received the call that Grant’s official website wanted Rise to release his full, unedited response live on the site – [...]

  25. DAVID TERRELL says:

    WHAT AN IMPRESSIVE RESPONSE. GRANT HAS A REMARKABLE
    WAY WITH THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. ONLY THING ABOUT IT IS THAT
    JALEN WILL NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT HE SAID. WE ALL KNOW THIS
    IS PURE ENVY. GO DUKE!!!!!

  26. 1K1W1 says:

    Mr G Hill, Even though I am a short, rugby playing white fella (with no basketball skill) from New Zealand, a small NBA fanbase, I have always been one of your biggest fans. I am also a Magic fan too and I was gutted for you that your time there did not go to plan.

    For you to put all of that behind you, and to fight back to play as hard as you do for the Suns night in night out for the love of the game has underlined the awesome type of bloke that you are. You already had respect from us fans, your colleagues and the rest of the basketball world for your work ethic, your work outside the game and your commitment to your friends and family.

    Your response to the fab five comments shows who you are on a deeper level, a thinker, a proud man and one who cares for others. I read it with a smile, and a chuckle at the last comment that also shows you are still a competitor too.

    Thank you for the memories to this point, and please keep playing forever, I even nearly cheered for the Suns the other day!

    Thank you also for being who you are and for giving a small piece of that to us. Max respect from a Kiwi lad that was only 12 when you were drafted, but became one of your biggest fans! Good luck.

  27. Grant Hill has always been an upstanding human being and athlete. Great response.

  28. Tonya says:

    Very well said. Very classy and very respectful. Watched you tonight on Oprah’s Master Class and this letter only makes me respect you even more. By the way, I love your wife’s music. Don’t ever defend your education dude… I love it! “And, I am proud I never lost a game against the Fab Five.” That line was priceless, even though back in the day you made me mad as hell lol.

  29. rounak says:

    thanks man nice post

  30. steve lyons says:

    Let’s see here Duke graduates 90 to 95% of its players in all of its sports programs. (ITs hard to get a degree at Duke!!) Michigan about 60% Christian(Leatnner),Grant(Hill)and Bobby(Hurley) Own the Fab Five. The sad part about this is if Steve Fisher had COACHED this Michigan Group the could have blew everyone out of the water. It wasn’t the players who lost those championships it was coach Fisher!! Coach K just outcoached Fish!! There was NO WAY That the fab five should have lost to ANY team including my Duke Blue Devils!!! And like my favorite Duke Blue Devil Grant Hill whom I met at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis while he was playing in Detroit MICHIGAN (how ironic) said he never lost to the FAB FIVE!!!

  31. steve lyons says:

    To show you what kind of person Grant Hill is, It was no less than 100 people in that lobby waiting to get his autograph(I know I was a security supervisor watching)This dude,(after playing the Atlanta Hawks for 2 hours and probably being exhausted)stayed there in that lobby and signed EVERY SINGLE PERSON who wanted his autograph. The man was taught CLASS learn form him don’t hate on him!! Keep being who you are Grant,I still have my autograph you signed for me at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis back in the 90′s!!

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