George Hill (basketball)
Hill in 2010
|No. 3 – Indiana Pacers|
May 4, 1986 |
|Listed height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Listed weight||188 lb (85 kg)|
|High school||Broad Ripple (Indianapolis, Indiana)|
|NBA draft||2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 26th overall|
|Selected by the San Antonio Spurs|
|Pro playing career||2008–present|
|2008–2011||San Antonio Spurs|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
George Jesse Hill, Jr. (born May 4, 1986) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). While playing for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) he received many honors, including Summit League 'Player of the Year' and was an 'Honorable Mention All-American' his junior season. He was selected 26th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2008 NBA Draft.
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Hill looked up to players like Michael Jordan while dreaming of one day playing in the NBA; when asked about his goal of becoming a first-round pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Hill commented: "It's my childhood dream". An only child, Hill attended Broad Ripple High School where he excelled as one of the top high school players in the state and formed part of the 'Magnificent Seven' from Indianapolis (Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Jr., Josh McRoberts, Rodney Carney, Eric Gordon, & Courtney Lee). Carney remembers playing against Hill : "This little kid comes in hitting all kinds of 3s, and I was like, 'Who is this little dude?...I knew he was going to be something when I saw this little skinny kid handling the ball and shooting like that." Hill played against every member of the 'Magnificent Seven' except for Gordon who was recovering from a broken wrist during their meetup. He faced off against Oden and Conley during his Junior year in High School, and remembers playing pickup-games against 10 year old Gordon when he was 13.
In high school, despite only having played soccer as a youth at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church, Hill was asked to try out for the goalie position and finished earning all-state honors. In his senior year, Hill averaged a state-leading 36.2 points per game, the fifth-highest single-season-average in Indiana High School Athletic Association history.
Despite receiving scholarship offers from several big conference schools including Temple and Indiana, he chose to commit to IUPUI, wishing to stay with his ailing great-grandfather, Gilbert Edison. A few months after he verbally agreed to attend IUPUI, his great-grandfather died, never getting the opportunity to see Hill play basketball at the college level. Following the advice of his great-grandfather, who told him to always be 'a man of his word', he decided to pass on other offers and stay at IUPUI.
In his sophomore year, he led the IUPUI Jaguars to a tie for the best record in the conference.
Following an injury that forced him to become a red-shirt in his third year at IUPUI, Hill returned the next season and led the Jaguars to a school-record 26 wins and the Summit League Tournament finals before losing to eventual champion Oral Roberts University and thus failing to secure a spot in the NCAA tournament.
Not counting Hill's injury-shortened 2006–07 season, the Jaguars were 61–30 during his three seasons at IUPUI.
Despite having one year of eligibility left, Hill, wishing to "test the waters", declared himself eligible for the 2008 NBA Draft. He left IUPUI as the fifth all-time leading scorer with 1,619 points, and became the second[Note 1] IUPUI player to declare early. Although he had regularly attracted NBA scouts to his college games, he was not projected in most mock drafts largely due to remaining unannounced.
The hard part was putting my name in, knowing I have great teammates and great coaches and if it came down to me leaving, I wouldn't be able to play for the team or the coaches again...The easy thing was, if I put my name in and don't get drafted, I still have the option of coming back and playing for this great university.—George Hill, 
In the following months, Hill worked out with several NBA teams. After an impressive run at the Orlando pre-draft rookie camp, Hill attracted attention and became a projected second-round selection. On draft night, the San Antonio Spurs surprised many by selecting George Hill with their 26th pick in the first round; many had San Antonio selecting Mario Chalmers of Kansas. Hill became the second first-round draft choice in The Summit League's history and the first player ever drafted from IUPUI. On September 23, 2008, the Spurs signed Hill to a standard rookie contract that guaranteed the first two years, and included a team option on the next two years.
Summer League 2008
- Las Vegas
On July 14, 2008, in his first summer league game as a Spur, George Hill scored 17 points and grabbed 8 rebounds while holding fellow draft pick O. J. Mayo to 5-of-17 shooting en route to a victory for the Spurs. Throughout the summer league Hill struggled with his shooting, making only 2 of 25 shots (8.0%), and one of six three-pointers (16.7%). Hill played in all but one of the four summer league games for the Spurs; he finished averaging 8.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in 31.7 minutes per game.
- Rocky Mountain Revue
At the Utah Revue, Hill led his team by averaging 12.9 points over four games; however he continued to struggle offensively with his shooting, only making 21.4% of his three-point field goals. In the first of the four games, Hill led all scorers with 21 points and helped the Spurs defeat the Utah Jazz, 82–57. He followed up with a quiet offensive performance, 6 points, in a win against the NBDL Ambassadors, before scoring 18 points in a loss versus the Gerald Green-led Mavericks. In the final game of the Revue, Hill once again struggled with his shooting (1–7) but managed to make key plays with the game on the line. Hill made two clutch free throws with 6.9 seconds left and then forced a turnover on the defensive end to beat the previously undefeated Atlanta Hawks.
In 2008, Hill joined the San Antonio Spurs and made his NBA debut on November 4 against the Dallas Mavericks in the third game of the season. He had sat out the previous two games due to a sprained left-thumb. In 15 minutes of play, Hill finished with 11 points, 1 steal, and 1 assist. Hill initially served as the main reserve at point guard, however after NBA leading scorer Tony Parker suffered an injury early in the season he was promoted to starter. After the return of Manu Ginóbili and Tony Parker, Hill received fewer minutes. He finished his rookie season averaging 5.7 points per game, 2.1 rebounds per game, and 1.8 assists per game. Hill made his playoff debut in game 2 of the Spurs first-round series against the Mavs, but he only played 5 minutes.
Hill spent most of his off-season working on his point-guard skills, supervised by player development coach Chad Forcier, and his jump shots with Spurs shooting coach Chip Engelland. Following the advice of former Spur Bruce Bowen, he focused on developing his corner three-point shot. By the time training camp arrived, Hill had converted 8000 threes.
His hard work during the off-season paid large dividends as soon as the 2009-2010 season commenced. Hill saw his minutes increase from 16.5min to 29min a game. He also started in 43 games, most of it occurring while Spurs starting point guard, Tony Parker, was battling injuries. Hill more than doubled his scoring average, improved his field goal percentage by 7.5 percentage points, and his 3-pt shooting by 7.9 percentage points. On April 1, Hill notched career highs of 30 points, 5 steals, and 7 assists in a home game win against the Houston Rockets. Hill ended the regular season tied at second place with Kevin Durant and Marc Gasol for the Most Improved Player of the Year award. All three garnered a total of 101 points.
The Spurs' first round playoff series with the Mavs was a breakout series for Hill. He was ineffective in Game 1, scoring 0 points in 17 minutes after coming back from an ankle injury. He shook off his tentativeness in the next few games, scoring 7 and 17 points in Games 2 and 3. Then, Hill led the Spurs to a Game 4 victory on a night when the Spurs' Big Three of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili shot a combined 9-of-34 from the field. Hill scored a career playoff high 29 points, shooting 11-16 from the field and 5-6 from downtown. Hill averaged 22.3 points in the series, helping the Spurs to win the series in six games.
Hill started the shortened season as a back-up for Darren Collison. On January 31, 2012, Hill left the game against the New Jersey Nets after he suffered an ankle injury. The Pacers announced it was a small chip fracture. He missed 12 games with the injury and returned on February 22, against the Charlotte Bobcats. On April 9, 2012, Pacers coach Frank Vogel announced that Hill would start for the injured Collison. Although Collison returned from the injury, Hill remained a starter for the rest of the season. Hill finished the season averaging 9.6 points per game with a field goal percentage of .442.
During their first round playoff series against the Orlando Magic, Hill scored double-digits in all five games as the Pacers advanced to the Eastern Conferences Semifinal. Facing the Miami Heat in the Conference Semifinals, Hill scored a playoff high 20 points and 5 assists in game 3 vs the Heat. However, the Heat won the next 3 games, advancing to Eastern Conferences Finals and eventually becoming NBA champions.
On July 13, 2012, Hill re-signed with the Pacers on a reported five-year, $40 million contract.
On draft day, ESPN reported that Hill possessed a 6'9" wingspan and only 3% body fat. Hill's athleticism, length, and strength are among his greatest assets; going into the NBA his defense was described as being "NBA-ready" but still needing to improve offensively. In a media interview Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich commented,"(Hill) does a little bit of everything, the great thing about him is that he's a very good all around basketball player, he's a tenacious defender, he can score, he can run, he's a good passer, he knows how to play and he's really a team guy". When asked on multiple occasions which current NBA player he most resembled, Hill responded by picking Monta Ellis, adding that he sees himself as a combo guard and an energy player who enjoys playing defense and getting into the passing lanes. Hill was drafted by the Spurs to back up All-Star Tony Parker at point guard.
- Carlos Knox was the first IUPUI player to declare early (1997) but would later withdraw his name.
- Video: Spurs introduce 2008 Draft Picks. nba.com/spurs, July 10, 2008. Accessed July 29, 2008.
- Matt Baker. IUPUI's George Hill dreams of having his name called indystar.com, June 26, 2008. - Archived at Webcite
- Maurice M. McKiernan. IUPUI's George Hill: the man behind the stats jagbytes.com, February 20, 2008. - Archived at WebCite
- Indianapolis Public Schools. 2004 BRHS Graduate Hill Picked in First Round of NBA Draft headlines.ips.k12.in.us - Archived at WebCite
- Rabjohns, Jeff. "Magnificent Seven - Oden. Conley. McRoberts. Carney. Hill. Lee. And Gordon. Indy high school rivals, now NBA colleagues, take us back to beginning. They recall classic games back in high school -- and even elementary school", Indianapolis Star, The (IN). Final Edition, Sports, D01. (ind138231025)
- Hill a prototypical Spur: College coach recounts examples of toughness, talent, loyalty, desire mysanantonio.com June 27, 2008 - Archived at WebCite
- 2007–2008 Men's Basketball Roster iupuijags.com. - Archived at Webcite
- "IUPUI's Hill declares for NBA draft", The Associated Press State & Local Wire. May 1, 2008.
- Jeff Rabjohns (May 1, 2008). "IUPUI's Hill to test his NBA value". Indianapolis Star, The (IN) FINAL EDITION ed., D02. Retrieved November 6, 2008 from NewsBank on-line database (Access World News) on the World Wide Web: <infoweb.newsbank.com>. (ID: ind131429991)
- Wallace, Michael. "Miami Heat's Chalmers feels at home in San Antonio", The Miami Herald. November 08, 2008.
- Ed Holdaway. "Hill picked 26th overall by the San Antonio Spurs" iupuijags.com, June 25, 2006. Accessed July 12, 2008. - Archived at WebCite
- Cliff Brunt, Spurs sign George Hill sports.yahoo.com, September 23, 2008.
- Mike Monroe. Spurs' Hill holds own against Mayo in summer league debut mysanantonio.com, July 15, 2008. - Archived at WebCite
- George Hill (2008 Summer League Statistics) nba.com, Accessed July 21, 2008. - Archived at WebCite
- Mike Monroe. Spurs' Hill makes date to fix his wayward shot mysanantonio.com, July 17, 2008. Accessed July 21, 2008. - Archived at WebCite
- Tim Buckley. Warriors' Morrow named MVP of the Revue espn.com, July 26, 2008. - Archived at WebCite
- "2008 RMR Schedule" nba.com/jazz/Renue, July 18-July 25.
- "08 RMR Day 4: Atlanta vs. San Antonio" nba.com/jazz/Revue, July 22, 2008.
- Finger, Mike. This time, Hill prepared to answer call, Mysanantonio.com, November 05, 2008.
- NBA Mavericks at Spurs Boxscore, NBA.com, Nov 04, 2008.
- " Spurs' Parker out one month for ankle sprain ", China View (xinhuanet.com) Nov 11, 2008.
- "Parker injured early in game", Sports Illustrated November 7, 2008.
- Monroe, Mike. "Late surge propels Spurs past Rockets", San Antonio Express News. November 14, 2008. (Accessed November 15, 2008)
- San Antonio(AP)."Duncan scores 22 points, leads the Spurs to another home victory", NBA.com, November 14, 2008
- McDonald, Jeff "Hill leads Spurs past Rockets" MySA.com, April 1, 2010.
- Duncan, Chris "Rockets G Brooks NBA's most improved player" Yahoo! Sports, April 22, 2010
- "Spurs vs. Mavs, Game 4 boxscore" Yahoo! Sports
- Pacers acquire guard George Hill
- Pacers re-sign Roy Hibbert, George Hill
- Thorpe, David (December 10, 2008). "Rookie Watch: Welcome, Westbrook". Weekly Rookie Rankings for ESPN. Retrieved 2008-12-11.
During the past few years, scouts have learned to value length in addition to height. Hill is a great example. One might think that Hill, who stands shorter than 6-foot-3 in shoes and is very skinny, is small, or average at best, for a combo guard. However, he has a 6-foot-9 wingspan, which allows him to extend his arm past defenders. This forces defenders either to let him get the shot off going to the rim or to get even closer to him on the driving finish, which generates more foul calls.—David Thorpe
- Tim Buckley. Hill takes first steps in climbing the Spurs' ladder espn.com, July 23, 2008. - Archived at WebCite
- Spurs 2008 Draft : Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich youtube.com, (Video: coach Popovich talking about George Hill).
- Radio: George Hill on STSA radio.woai.com, Accessed July 29, 2008.
- 2008–2009 Men's Basketball Roster (#3 George Hill), IUPUIJags.com
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to George Hill.|
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com, or Basketball-Reference.com
- IUPUI.edu - Jaguars Spirit section dedicated to George Hill
- NBA.com - NBA Profile
- DraftExpress.com - Draft Profile