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YouTube Gold: The Greatness Of Grant Hill

Still Duke’s finest

Grant Hill drives the ball downcourt
APRIL 4: Forward Grant Hill #33 of the Duke Blue Devils drives the ball downcourt during an NCAA game on April 4, 1994 against the Arkansas Razorbacks. Arkansas won the game 76-72.
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Grant Hill graduated from Duke in 1994 and even today, he’s regarded as the best player in Duke history.

That’s saying a lot - it takes in Christian Laettner, Zion Williamson, Jason Williams and JJ Redick among others.

It’s hard to argue with though. Hill could do anything on a basketball court except hit three pointers, where he seemed to have a mental block while at Duke.

He could play four positions and really it didn’t matter where you put him. He could do it all.

He’s best remembered for two plays though: first, his astonishing dunk his freshman year against Roy Williams and Kansas in the 1991 NCAA championship game and second, his superb pass to set Christian Laettner up for his epic game winner against Kentucky in the Elite Eight the following year.

As this video shows though, Hill was a highly athletic, highly skilled and very intuitive basketball player.

As fun as it is though, and as great as the two plays previously mentioned were, Hill had one other play that was, for our money, possibly the greatest play in the history of Cameron.

Certainly it was the greatest defensive play in Cameron history.

In his senior season, UNC had a four-on-one break with only Hill stopping the Tar Heels from a certain basket.

Unfortunately for Carolina, the Heels were outnumbered: Hill broke up a four-on-one, took the ball away and brought it back to Duke’s end of the court.

We can think of a lot of great defensive plays in Cameron, notably Taymon Domzalski’s incredibly bad-ass block on Maryland’s Keith Booth who was flying down the lane for a monster dunk. He sized it up and met Booth in mid-air.

Johnny Dawkins had a tremendous block on Notre Dame’s David Rivers to preserve a win and Zion Williamson had tons of highlight steals and blocks in his freshman year.

None of them, not even Shane Battier, ever did what Hill did. It was unbelievable. Most of this is too.