Grant Hill — a seven-time NBA All-Star, Olympic Gold medalist and current Atlanta Hawks part-owner — recently joined USA TODAY Sports on the NBA A to Z podcast for a wide-ranging interview. He hit on a handful of hot topics, from the one-and-done trend to the competitive fire (or lack thereof) in today’s NBA.
Q: You were recently a part of the voting panel for the (Allstate NABC) Good Works Team to select the best student athletes in the country. Obviously a well-deserved honor (for you). But some fans of basketball make the mistake of looking at basketball as strictly basketball and nothing else. They kind of ignore all of the off the court stuff. Can you talk about the importance of making an impact off the court, not only in college but then transitioning those college years into the NBA?
A: Yeah, I mean, it is important. I think, first of all, sometimes we look at athletes, college, professional, we just see them as athletes. I think there’s a lot of depth and layers to a lot of athletes out there, particularly in college and college basketball. So this award that the Allstate NABC Good Works Team (sponsored) — what they are about in honoring student athletes for their community work, for their volunteerism. But for them understanding these kids, understanding the platform they have and the opportunity to really affect change and make an impact is really remarkable considering the time constraints that they have as student athletes. I’ve been there. I know. It’s tough enough just as a student. … I’m just amazed at the level of commitment, the hours that they’ve been able to devote, the vision they have, and their ability to execute while they’ve had all this other responsibility associated with being a student athlete. It’s really quite remarkable.