Malcolm Hill is a 6'-5" wing with a feathery touch from the perimeter who also has the skill set to attack his man off the bounce and get to the rim. He has seen his stock rise in state and national rankings with his stellar play this spring. He took a visit to Illinois Saturday, and coach Bruce Weber extended a scholarship offer to Hill.
"It was after the open gym," Hill explained. "Coach Weber said we have a scholarship here for you, so if you want to accept it we would be very happy. They offered me after the scrimmage I had with the players in the practice gym.
"I kind of expected it to come. I wouldn't say it was a surprise, but more of relief that I knew all the rumors were true."
Hill has received three offers to date, including Missouri and Southern Illinois. He says the Illini offer has special significance.
"It means a lot. It says to me Illinois thinks I can be a great player, fit in their system, and help their team out."
Hill discussed what he was looking to get out of the trip.
"I wanted to see what the program has to offer and how their coaching system is. Also I wanted to see what the chemistry was like between the players and coaches."
He had a good visit with Weber before scrimmaging with some of the Illini players.
"I talked to Coach Weber in his office for about 30 minutes with my mom and dad. We talked what the school has to offer. We talked about how the team is run, his contract extension, and the education."We also talked about the great alumni. If I needed to look for a job after I graduated, I can come back to Illinois and would have plenty of job offerings. They pretty much said if I went to Illinois, I would be set for life. It is a win-win situation."
He continued to learn more about the school after the practice games.
I went to one of the offices where they have all the players' jerseys, and on the board it said ‘Malcolm We Welcome You.' We went in a golf cart and toured the campus. I then hung around with some of the assistants for a while."
It was a great time for Hill to see what Illinois basketball is all about.
"It was a very enjoyable experience getting to meet the players."
If he were to join the Illini, what would he bring to the team?
"I would be another scorer for the team, help out on the defensive end, and contribute to team chemistry."
Hill was accompanied on his visit by his mom and dad. What did they think of his visit to Illinois?
"They thought it was a good campus, and the school has good things to offer and provide for me."
Hill has a long list of suitors besides his three offers. He discussed the other schools showing interest.
"Providence, Xavier, Michigan, UCLA, Indiana, Ohio State, and Georgetown"
He visited Indiana on Sunday and has visits set up for Ohio State and Michigan in June. Hill says he will wait until next summer to make his collegiate decision.
The 2013 product is considering a major in Accounting, Journalism, or Business in college. He knows the criteria he will be looking for in a school.
"First is what the school can provide when it comes to education. Other factors would be what my role is on the team, other players that commit there, and if I like the coach's playing style."
Hill was spectacular for the Southwest Jets 16 and Under team during the spring season, and his individual success translated to team success.
"It has been good. I have been with coach Pat (Smith) since third grade. We have some new players from other teams. We have been playing against some of the top competition and doing really well."
He will look to continue that in July with all the high major coaches' eyes on him, although he is not concerned with the people in the stands.
"I am not really worried about playing in front of college coaches. I try not to make that a distraction for my team and myself."