NBA great Grant Hill: College players should remain more than one season

NBA great Grant Hill: College players should remain more than one season


NBA great Grant Hill feels that both the NCAA and NBA would benefit from college players remaining in school longer than one year.

After discussing his efforts in helping the Allstate NABC Good Works Team, Hill told AOL Sports that participating in more than one year of collegiate basketball better prepares athletes for the pros. Hill played four years at Duke before being drafted by the Detroit Pistons.

"I kind of like the idea of kids staying in school a bit longer," said Hill. "I think that adding another year, or even two ... adds a lot to the college game.

"I also think it helps and benefits the NBA."

Hill recalled players during his Duke days that perhaps left too early and their pro careers did not exactly pan out, and even said he benefitted by staying under legendary coach Mike Kryzewski's tutelage.

"I don't think I would've been ready," Hill admitted, but with a catch – the current environment dictates that collegiate athletes feel pressure to leave, especially if they are projected to be a top three pick.

"The pressure to leave is too great," said Hill. "It's almost, like, the only that can happen is you come back you can lose some value, as crazy as that can sound."

A two-time national champion (1991, 1992) while at Duke, Hill was the 1995 Co-Rookie of the Year following his first NBA season. He was also named last month to the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

Referring to current Duke center Jamil Okafor, Hill said the freshman will undoubtedly feel the pressure to declare for the next NBA Draft.

"Everyone says he'll be the number one pick this year, if he continues with the kind of season he's had so far," said Hill. "He's got a great talent, great feel, a tremendous touch.

"He's a big guy that embraces being a center," Hill continued, adding the Okafor "has a chance to be, you know, one of the great ones in the NBA."

Hill, who also played for the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers during his 18-season NBA career, also said his experience trying to buy the Clippers earlier this year was not a one-off – he wants to be a team owner.

"[Owning an NBA team] was something that one of my potential partners and I were discussing almost 18 months before the [Clippers] was up for sale," Hill said.

The seven-time NBA All-Star said the rushed process, a result of team owner Donald Sterling being banned for life from the league for a racial tirade made public by an alleged mistress, did not deter him from wanting to seek another ownership opportunity.

"They don't come up a lot, but when they come up, the right one ... I know the right partners that are out there," said Hill.

Hill's remarks came while discussing work he is doing with the Allstate NABC Good Works Team, for which the 42-year-old is a national ambassador.

The Good Works team recognizes players from all levels of college basketball -– Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, the NAIA and women -– for charitable efforts off the court.

"To recognize the positive contributions and impact they have on their communities ... is something that's important to me and near and dear to my heart," said Hill.

More than 150 nominees will be whittled down to 10 winners. Those honorees will accompany Hill to this years Final Four, in Indianapolis, to be honored, take part in events and receive the recognition their efforts deserve.

This is the second year Hill has been a national ambassador for Good Works, but he is still working hard with a handful of other judges to make sure the right finalists are selected.

"I think everyone who has been nominated is worthy of making it," said Hill. "What these student athletes are doing is remarkable.

"We all have been able to witness the greatness of student athletes, particularly basketball players on the court, but these student athletes are also doing some great things off the court."