K.J. Hill scored just 10 points in North Little Rock’s win over Van Buren Saturday, but his last two were his biggest.
With 19 seconds left and the Charging Wildcats leading by only three points, the four-star Arkansas football commit was fouled and knocked down a pair of free throws to ice the 64-59 win.
It was a situation Hill felt comfortable in.
“I always do,” Hill said. “The tough times, I try to lead the team through it.”
Despite a few early turnovers, Hill settled in and had four assists and three steals to go along with his 10 points, which came on 3-of-6 shooting from the floor and 4-of-4 shooting from the free throw line.
Hill has been with North Little Rock’s basketball team since the Charging Wildcats’ 42-10 loss to Bentonville in the semifinals of the Class 7A football playoffs and he admits that he still has some rust to knock off.
“I still need to get some more (work) in, but I’m getting a feel for it,” Hill said. “I’m still working out for football for the All-American game.”
While some recruits – such as Dumas tight end Will Gragg and Charleston quarterback Ty Storey – opted to sign a financial aid agreement and enroll at Arkansas at the end of the semester, Hill said he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to win another state championship in basketball.
“The benefit is having fun with your team, enjoying your high school career and getting a three-peat,” Hill said. “Most high school kids will say, ‘I’m not playing basketball. We’re not that good.’ I got a chance to play the best team in the state, so it’s a good feeling.”
He has shifted his focus primarily to basketball, but football is still on his mind.
Next month, Hill plans to take official visits to Alabama and Arkansas, on Jan. 16 and 23, respectively.
He was also recently paid a visit from several members of the Arkansas coaching staff, as head coach Bret Bielema, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, wide receivers coach Michael Smith and tight ends coach Barry Lunney, Jr., came to him North Little Rock home.
“It was good talking with them, getting questions that I’ve had answered and stuff like that,” Hill said.
Hill Splitting Focus Between Sports
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