From the Orlando Magic media office comes the following Q&A with Grant Hill, who talks about recovering from his ankle injury and about his excitement to play in the upcoming Duke All-Star charity game (if you haven't already, call for tickets today at 919-681-BLUE):
Grant Hill Quotes & Bio
(From Orlando Magic Media Relations)
On the recovery from his ankle injury:
"Actually, I think from the injury standpoint and the rehab, I guess I'll be doing rehab for the rest of my career continuing to strengthen the ankle. The ankle hasn't given me any problems in the last two months. I've been not so much rehabbing, but just getting ready for the season. So I think I've kind of passed that stage where the rehab is critical. Now it's a matter of working out and working the rust off from not playing, doing two-a-days, doing strength training and running, cardio in the morning and getting up in the gym in the late afternoon and evening and I'll tell you what, they've been good. I've worked out with some of the guys, Monty Williams, Pat Garrity, and I feel really good. I don't know if I feel better than I was before when I was healthy, just because I've been hurt for so long, but I'm able to do things that I pretty much expected to. Being able to finish at the rim, being able to run, the quickness, the lateral movement, all that stuff that I wasn't able to do at the beginning of this season, I'm feeling real good about doing now."
On his attitude:
"People don't realize the amount of stress you put on your body both physically and mentally from just the wear and tear of a season. For me personally, Doc (Rivers) didn't want me travelling. I was at the games and practices throughout the season and home games and practices. I traveled at the end during the last two and at the playoffs. Travelling has worn me out. Just traveling, forget about playing, just traveling. It's a hectic schedule, a hectic pace. In addition to playing 35-40 minutes a night, I didn't do that. So, yeah, I do feel rested and maybe it will help me on the back end of my career. But all in all, in all honesty, this injury was the best thing that ever happened. It sounds weird, people say well how can that be, but I just think for me, it was an unbelievable growing process and I feel physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually all stronger as a result and I'm looking forward to showing that this season."
On what he learned while sitting out during the season:
"Well, not so much the other teams, but I study my own teammates. It really gave me an opportunity to look at my teammates differently. I think when you're on the court and you're out there in the mix and you're playing, sometimes you're caught up in your own little world. Am I missing my shot? Can I get a shot? Coach is not calling my play. Whatever. You're thinking about your own little stuff and for me, I'm caught up in the game, but I'm not thinking about me. I'm thinking about the others, about what's going on, how Tracy is dominating a guy, or someone may be missing a shot or have an opportunity and they may not see. Whatever. Just learning guy's tendencies and how they react when they score, when they don't score, when they do well, when they don't do well, all these different things. It was actually an unbelievable learning process for me, being on a new team with new teammates, considering too that we kept the core most of our guys and we've added a few pieces. Hopefully I can continue to take that approach with my teammates, continuing to learn from them, watch them, observe them and hopefully help them while I'm back."
On his approach to training camp:
"Well, honestly, training camp is definitely high intensity and it's two-a-days, so you're putting your body and any injury, be it the ankle or anything, under a lot of stress. But the good thing about the time frame that I've had as far as this summer, I've been putting the ankle under unbelievable stress, so even if training camp were to start tomorrow, I feel pretty confident because I've tested this ankle as much as I can possibly test it. I've run, I've jumped and landed on people's foot, I've done things, I've been on defense where I'm having to respond to people and react and putting my ankle in all different awkward positions that we do on the basketball court. The good thing really for me in the last six-eight weeks is that I'm not thinking about the ankle. I'm thinking about how I can defend my man, or beat my man, or make a play, get to a spot, whereas, as you remember at last year's training camp, I wasn't thinking about anything other than is it going to hurt when I put my foot down. I feel pretty confident, I feel good that physically, the ankle is strong and heeled and there's always that mental hurdle and obstacle that you have to get over and I've been doing that really for the last two months. The plan is when we start working involuntarily together in September, that all that ankle stuff will be behind me, and I'm just like everyone else trying to get better and prepare for the season."
On Duke game:
"I'm looking forward to going there and playing and representing Duke and having fun, but all the media talk about it, now I feel like I've got to go out there and dominate just so everybody feels good. I didn't realize it was going to be that big of a deal. I'm just thinking I'm going to go there and play maybe 12 minutes and have some fun, see some old guys I haven't played with in a long time. Now the pressure's on. I've got to go out there and score 50 just to show everybody that I'm okay. It's really for the program and it represents the success that Coach K has had. The camaraderie, the togetherness that the team and the former Duke players have. I'm going to go out there and have fun."
On changes to Magic roster for upcoming season:
"I think they've been great moves. I think really, as big a difference as we had from last year to this year, I think we have a chance to have an even bigger one. Enough to put pressure on ourselves. We pretty much kept the core of the heart and hustle group together. Of course you have the additions of Tracy, who will be better, and Mike Miller, who will be better, and myself, who will just be, and hopefully who'll be better as well. Then of course, you have the rookies from the draft, which will also make us a better team, and the veteran leadership and the veteran being in the wars and the battles of Patrick and Horace. We have a chance to do something really special and exciting. I think we're all looking forward to getting going and playing and meshing and gelling and more importantly, winning."
Years Pro: 7
College: Duke Â94
High School: South Lakes H.S. (Reston, Va.)
Drafted: First round (third overall) of the 1994 NBA Draft by Detroit.
Acquired: From Detroit in exchange for Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace in a sign-and-trade deal on August 3, 2000.
HEADLINER: A six-time NBA All-Star, Grant Hill has been named to the All-NBA First or Second Team four times and has averaged 21.5 ppg. during his career.
LAST SEASON (2000-01): Played in only four regular season games for Orlando, averaging 13.8 ppg., 6.3 rpg., 6.3 apg. and 1.25 stlpg in 33.3 minpgÂ
.Had season-ending surgery to repair a broken medial malleolus (inside bone of left ankle) on Jan. 3Â
Led (or tied) the team in scoring twice, including season-high 19 points on Dec. 11 @ L.A. ClippersÂ
Led (or tied) the team in assists three timesÂ
Voted starter at 2001 NBA All-Star Game, but unable to play due to injury.
PROFESSIONAL CAREER: Named to the All-NBA First Team once (1996-97) and All-NBA Second Team four times (1995-96, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-00)Â
Voted a starter for the Eastern Conference in five consecutive NBA All-Star Games and was the leading vote-getter twice (1995, 1996)Â
Has played in 439 NBA games with Detroit and Orlando...During his career, has averaged 21.5 ppg., 7.8 rpg., 6.3 apg. and 1.59 stlpg. in 39.0 minpg....Named to the 1996 United States Olympic MenÂs Basektball Team, where he helped ÂDream Team IIIÂ capture the gold medal in AtlantaÂ
Also named to the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team, but did not participate due to injuryÂ
Named to the NBAÂs All-Interview First Team in 1996-97 and 1999-2000, and named to the All-Interview Second Team in 1994-95, 1995-96, 1997-98 and 1998-99Â
Earned NBA Player-of-the-Week honors five times and the NBAÂs Player-of-the-Month once during his careerÂ
Has recorded 29 career triple-doublesÂ
1999-2000: Named to the All-NBA Second TeamÂ
Played in 74 regular season games for Detroit, averaging career-high 25.8 ppg., 6.6 rpg., 5.2 apg. and 1.39 stlpg in 37.5 minpgÂ
.Led the Pistons in both scoring and assistsÂ
Ranked third in the NBA in scoring, 20th in field goal percentage (.489), tied for 21st in assists, 21st in minutes played, 31st in steals and 39th in reboundingÂ
One of only three players (DallasÂ Michael Finley and SeattleÂs Gary Payton) to average at least 20.0 ppg., 5.0 rpg. and 5.0 apgÂ
.Scored 30 or more points 29 times and netted 40-plus points four timesÂ
Led (or tied) the team in scoring 44 times, rebounding 16 times and assists 38 timesÂ
Also led the Pistons with 13 double-doublesÂ
Voted a starter for the Eastern Conference in the 2000 NBA All-Star Game, tallying seven points, five assists, three rebounds and one steal in 19 minutesÂ
Named NBAÂs Player-of-the-Week for the period ending Jan. 9, 2000, after averaging 38.8 ppg., 7.5 apg. and 5.3 rpg. in 41.8 minpgÂ
.Posted back-to-back 42-point efforts on Jan. 3 @ Orlando and Jan. 5 @ AtlantaÂ
Missed five games due to a moderate hip contusion suffered on Jan. 22 @ ChicagoÂ
Also missed the last three games of the season due to a bone bruise in his left ankleÂ
Averaged 11.0 ppg., 5.5 rpg. and 4.5 apg. in two playoff games against Miami, before being forced to sit the remainder of the series with a broken left ankleÂ
Named to the NBA All-Interview First Team...1998-99: The only player to start in all 50 games for Detroit, he averaged 21.1 ppg., 7.1 rpg., 6.0 apg. and 1.60 stlpg. in 37.0 minpgÂ
.Named to the All-NBA Second Team and NBA All-Interview Second TeamÂ
Led the team in scoring, rebounding, assists, field goals made, free throws made and minutes playedÂ
One of only 10 players to score at least 1,000 pointsÂ
Joined Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in NBA history to have led their team in scoring, rebounding and assists at least three timesÂ
Finished 10th in the NBA in scoring, 17th in assists, tied for 22nd in field goal percentage, tied for 23rd in steals and minutes played, and tied for 34th in reboundingÂ
Scored in double figures in 48 of 50 games, had 20-plus points 24 times, 30 or more points eight times and 40-plus points onceÂ
Led (or tied) the team in scoring 28 times, rebounding 16 times and assists 31 timesÂ
Had eight double-doubles and one triple-doubleÂ
Scored a career-high 46 points vs. Washington on Feb. 8, including a Pistons-record 31 points in the first halfÂ
Named NBA Player-of-the-Week for the period ending May, 2, 1999, after averaging 26.8 ppg., 8.5 rpg., 5.3 apg. and 2.25 stlpg., while shooting .631 from the fieldÂ
In five playoff games vs. Atlanta, led the team with 19.4 ppg., 7.4 apg., 7.2 rpg. and 2.00 stlpg. in 35.2 minpg.Â
1997-98: Played in team-high 81 regular season games for Detroit, averaging 21.1 ppg., 7.7 rpg., 6.8 apg. and 1.77 stlpg. in 40.7 minpgÂ
.Named to the All-NBA Second Team and NBA All-Interview Second TeamÂ
Led the team in scoring, assists, steals and minutes played, and was second in reboundingÂ
Ranked third in the NBA in minutes played, 11th in steals, tied for 12th in scoring, 13th in assists and 28th in reboundingÂ
Recorded four triple-doubles and 31 double-doublesÂ
Led (or tied) the team in scoring 41 times, rebounding 28 times and assists 65 timesÂ
Scored in double figures in 78 of his 81 games played, including 20-plus points 44 times and 30 or more 10 timesÂ
Voted to start in the 1998 NBA All-Star GameÂ
1996-97: Named to the All-NBA First Team after averaging 21.4 ppg., 9.0 rpg., 7.3 apg and 1.80 stlpg. in 39.3 minpg. during the regular season (80 games) for Detroit...Averaged 23.6 ppg., 6.8 rpg. and 5.4 apg. during five playoff games against Atlanta...Ranked 10th in the NBA in minutes played, 12th in scoring and in assists, 16th in steals, 19th in rebounding and tied for 30th in field goal percentage (.496, career-high)Â
Catupred the IBM Award, presented for overall contributions to his teamÂs successÂ
Also named to the NBA All-Interview First TeamÂ
Named NBA Player-of-the-Month for January and earned NBA Player-of-the-Week honors twice (periods ending Jan. 19, 1997 and Apr. 6, 1997)Â
Led the league with 13 triple-doubles, including six in the final 11 games of the seasonÂ
Led the Pistons in scoring 45 times, rebounding 46 times and assists 62 timesÂ
Scored in double figures in 78 outings, including 20-plus points 47 timesÂ
Voted to start at the 1997 NBA All-Star GameÂ
1995-96: Averaged 20.2 ppg., 9.8 rpg., 6.9 apg. and 1.25 stlpg. in 40.8 minpg. for the Pistons during the regular seasonÂ
Became the 15th player in NBA history to lead his team in scoring, rebounding and assists in the same seasonÂ
Also led the team in steals and minutes playedÂ
Named to the All-NBA Second Team and NBA All-Interview Second TeamÂ
Ranked third in the league in minutes played, 13th in rebounding, 15th in assists and 19th in scoringÂ
His 10 triple-doubles were the best in the NBA (also recorded 32 double-doubles)Â
Led (or tied) for the team in lead in scoring 33 times, rebounding 45 times and assists 66 timesÂ
Averaged 19.0 ppg., 7.3 rpg., 3.7 apg. and 1.00 stlpg. in three playoff contests against OrlandoÂ
Was the leading vote-getter for the 1996 NBA All-Star Game, tallying 1,358,004 votesÂ
Named to the 1996 U.S. Olympic MenÂs Basketball Team...1994-95: Shared NBA Rookie-of-the-Year award with Jason Kidd of DallasÂ
Earned NBA All-Rookie First Team honors after averaging 19.9 ppg., 6.4 rpg., 5.0 apg. and 1.77 stlpg. in 38.3 minpg. during 70 regular season gamesÂ
The first PistonsÂ rookie to score 1,000 points since Kelly Tripucka and Isiah Thomas in 1981-82Â
Ranked eighth in the NBA in minutes played, 12th in steals, 20th in scoring and 25th in assistsÂ
Missed 12 games due to plantar fasciitis in his left footÂ
Recorded his first triple-double with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Orlando on Apr. 7...Started at the 1995 NBA All-Star Game, after becoming the first rookie ever to lead all players in fan voting.
CAREER TRANSACTIONS: Selected by Detroit in the first round (third overall) of the 1994 NBA DraftÂ
Traded by Detroit to Orlando in exchange for Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace in a sign-and-trade deal (Aug. 3, 2000).
COLLEGE CAREER: Played four seasons at Duke University, helping the Blue Devils win back-to-back NCAA Championships in 1991 and 1992Â
Duke appeared in three straight NCAA Championship games, won three ACC regular season championships and one ACC Tournament title with HIllÂ
Averaged 14.9 ppg., 6.0 rpg. and 3.6 apg. in 129 career games with DukeÂ
Named consensus First Team All-America and the ACC Player-of-the-Year following his senior season (1993-94), where he averaged 17.4 ppg., 6.9 rpg. and 5.2 apg.Â
Earned Second Team All-America honors as a sophomore and junior and was a consensus Freshman All-AmericanÂ
Won the Henry Iba Award as the nationÂs best defensive player in 1992-93Â
Became the first player in ACC history to record 1,900 points, 700 rebounds, 400 assists, 200 steals and 100 blocked shotsÂ
The eighth player in school history to have his jersey (33) retired.
ONE-ON-ONE: Full name is Grant Henry Hill... Recognized for his tremendous efforts in the Central Florida community with the 2001 Rich and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment AwardÂ
He and his wife, Tamia, donated $1 million to Duke University and $50,000 to benefit Child Abuse PreventionÂ
In 2000, named among 99 professional athletes as ÂGood Guys in SportsÂ by The Sporting News, recognizing athletes for outstanding character and exemplary civic responsibilityÂ
Born in Dallas, Tex., is the only child of Calvin and Janet HillÂ
Father was a running back with three NFL teams from 1969-74 and 1976-81, while his mother serves as a consultant in the Washington D.C. areaÂ
Wife, Tamia, is a four-time Grammy-nominated recording artistÂ
Served as vice-chairman of the 1999 Special Olympics World Games, held in North CarolinaÂ
Childhood idols included Arthur Ashe and the MagicÂs own Julius Erving.