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Grant Hill On His Toughest Practice At Duke

A very tough night but it paid off later in a big way.

Duke University vs University of North Carolina
College Basketball: Duke Grant Hill (33) in action vs North Carolina George Lynch (33). Durham, NC 2/4/1993 
Set Number: X43946 TK1 R5 F28

There are certain stories about Duke Basketball in the Krzyzewski Era that have taken on the air of myth over the years. You probably know a lot of them, like “here’s never forgetting tonight...” and “you’re not worthy of a national championship...” or maybe “I come not to praise Louisville but to bury them.”

Some of them are foundational stories to Duke Basketball and keys to why the Blue Devils have been so good for so long.

People are often asked about their best stories. We asked Kenny Dennard for his once and he said they were classified.

Grant Hill has some great ones too, some that, like Dennard, he won’t share anytime soon, but some that he has no problem discussing.

Take the unexpected practice his freshmen year where his nose was broken.

Coach K had a pretty good idea that he had a special team in 1991, to the point where he told them that if they listened to him, they’d win the national championship - right after UNC blew them out in the finals of the ACC Tournament, 96-74.

But it wasn’t a perfect team and on January 5th, the Blue Devils got killed at Virginia, losing 81-64.

As soon as the bus got back to Durham, Coach K told his team to get ready to practice in 10 minutes, and, soon enough, Hill broke his nose and missed the next three games.

Duke was ready though and won all three. Hill says in this that he learned a lot about setting a standard. He also says that he never had another practice like that at Duke.

The funniest part of this article though is Jason Kidd when he played for Coach K with Team USA and realized that he cursed. He had no idea! Not sure how you get that far in basketball, including a memorable upset of Duke in college in the NCAA tournament, without being aware with that, but evidently he caught on.