CHAMPAIGN — Malcolm Hill isn’t spending much time outside the gym these days.
“Just working on my ball handling, my three-point shooting,” the recent Illinois graduate said.
Hill finished his Illini career as the school’s third all-time leading scorer but still has a lot to prove in his pursuit of a professional career.
NBA teams aren’t sold on the Fairview Heights native, he’s not appearing on any mock drafts. Hill has had plenty of calls though and has spent the last several months training in Las Vegas, Chicago and at the ARC in Champaign with former Illini assistant coach Paris Parham. Hill has cut 10 pounds and is working to prove his worth as guard after playing all five positions for the Illini.
“I need to prove that I’m a guard basically,” Hill said. “I can do a lot of things on the offensive and defensive end. I’ve been told I’m a good player and I still have things to work out.”
Hill has worked out for several NBA teams since graduating, crisscrossing the country to play in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Utah, among others. He’s hoping to sell his team-first approach and do-it-all attitude.
“That’s just how I’ve been built ever since I’ve been playing basketball,” Hill said. “I’ve been a hard worker and I’ve attacked all of my weaknesses and I’ve always been able to offer a team some type of strength on the court. I just want to be on a team that appreciates my abilities.”
Hill says he won’t watch Thursday night’s draft and hasn’t given much thought to what he’ll do if his name isn’t called, including playing overseas. But no matter what happens, Hill says he’s ready.
“I’m a big believer in things happen for a reason,” he said. “I wouldn’t change anything. I wouldn’t change any of the decisions or actions before. Things happen for a reason.”