This article from the desk of Pacers.com really sums up the wonderful reasons why George Hill turned down an invite from TEAM USA for their minicamp. From George Hill’s back story, I have gathered that he didn’t have the opportunities most kids had growing up for the game of basketball. He had to sneak into a school’s court to even play some hoops, and eventually someone helped out to get Hill into that school and start him on that path to become the quality basketball player he is. If you want to locate a guy that really does all he can for a community, start that list with George Hill. I am always seeing tweets from him telling kids to come out for some open gym times and a meet and greet. He’s even hosted camps down in Texas, and looks to get some going up here soon in Indiana.
He’s about a local guy as you can get with his graduating from Broad Ripple High and completing his college career through IUPUI. That is the type of guy that fans love to get behind because we can call him one of our own. I believe Hill has always been on the Pacers’ radar and they were able to take care of that a few summers ago when they traded away for him. The draft rights to Kwahi Leonard was the big piece of movement in that, and now you see how it’s worked out fine for both teams. Leonard has made a great impact for the Spurs, and Hill has done the same for the Pacers.
I think for the foreseeable future, we will see what Hill can do for the community more and more. But then again, we might not see it in full view as Hill seems to be a very private guy, and we’ll have to respect that. But I know that behind the scenes work is what makes Hill the player that fans will truly root for. You want that guy that can play hard on the court and work harder off the court to make a difference. I am sure turning down this type of invite from Team USA was tough, but the bigger picture here is that Hill would have a tough time actually finding that roster spot. That experience of playing with so much talent could go a long way. But in Hill’s mind, the difference he can make a in a kid’s life is a much bigger experience. For that, I am fine with his request to decline that offer.