DEERFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Malcolm Hill is finally getting his bounce back. The former Illini standout is about 90-to-95 percent healthy after tearing his left ACL playing for MHP Reisin Ludwigsburg in Germany last year. It’s the first significant injury in the 6-foot-5 guard’s career.
“It’s a mental battle,” says Hill. “So now it’s just about getting the strength back, you know just trying to get better than I was before.”
Hill was off to a great start last season, averaging 13 points a game before getting hurt. He’s open to going back to Germany this fall, and said he actually prefers that over a lot of other foreign countries. He’ll continue to work on his game in Chicago until he signs another contract in the next couple of months.
“All the games are always sold out, packed gyms. Even when I play international and go to these different countries, looking at the different cultures and lifestyles, it’s great,” says Hill. “So I mean it’s a lot better than going to class and studying. I’m just studying film now with basketball.”
Hill still sports the Illini gear but his game has changed. He’s down to 210 pounds, about 25 pounds lighter than his college days. After playing every position on the court for Illinois, he’s locked into the two or three professionally.
“I think overall I just enjoy the process of really embracing the process of being a guard overseas because playing against some of the best competition in the world, hopefully that will land me back in the NBA.”
Hill’s ultimate NBA goal remains the same, he’s not limiting his career to just that. The Illini’s third career all-time leading scorer is taking it all in stride.
“You know I love the whole process, everything about it,” says Hill. “You know I just really took the time to appreciate everything I have, just playing basketball as a profession. That’s what people dream of. Even though I’m not in the NBA, I’m still having fun with it. You know the goal isn’t over for me, so I’m just enjoying it everyday, getting my ACL better so I can kill it next year.”