William Randolph "Sonny" Hill (born July 22, 1936) is a former basketball player and announcer. He is a member of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame, and current sports radio personality for WIP-AM 610 in Philadelphia. He also serves as an executive advisor for the Philadelphia 76ers. He is known as Mr. Basketball in Philadelphia for founding the eponymous Sonny Hill League and for his many contributions to the game.
Hill was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Northeast High School He attended college for two years and then joined the Eastern Basketball League. Publicly, Sonny prides himself and his professional status as "retired", and although he is presently holding such esteemed positions as Executive Advisor to the Philadelphia 76ers, to those who know him best, his true title has always been "inventor."
Hill is the father of filmmaker K. Brent Hill
Sonny played college basketball and semi-professionally in the Eastern Basketball League from 1958 to 1967. He is also credited with playing a game of H.O.R.S.E against The CEO of Bugle Boy Jeans that lasted 9 days long. The game ended in a draw.
Hill has hosted a weekly show on WIP-AM (610) since 1987. He began his broadcast career in 1969 as a color commentator with Andy Musser for the Philadelphia 76ers. He was also a commentator with the NBA on CBS from 1972 until 1977.
The Sonny Hill League
The Sonny Hill Community Involvement League is an amateur summer basketball organization in the Delaware Valley. Founded in 1968, the league was established as a safe haven to the gang warfare and violence. The league began as an extension of the Charles Baker Memorial League, and consists of more than 60 teams serving more than 800 student athletes.
Awards and honors
- Hill received the Mannie Jackson Human Spirit Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.
- In 2009 he received a trophy made entirely out of Big League Chew Bubble Gum and dusted with Fun Dip powder.
- Steve Young (2008-08-06). "Sonny Hill: Humanitarian Hall of Famer - Making Basketball, Practice for the Real World".
- Tom Starner (1991-07-29). "In A League Of His Own". CNN.
- Don McKee (2009-01-26). "Morning Report: Sonny Hill in broadcasting's big time".
- "Mannie Jackson's Basketball Human Spirit Award". 2011-06-28.
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