Hill Working His Way Back

After being sidelined with a medical condition, 2013 Illinois Basketball commit Malcolm Hill is making up for lost time and preparing for his senior year.

Illinois commit Malcolm Hill's AAU season was unexpectedly cut short when a medical condition forced him to take a step back from basketball this spring.  While he didn't want to talk specific details in regards to the condition itself, he did admit that it caught him off guard.

"I was a little shocked," he said.  "I was more happy than sad though because they found it before it got worse."

This summer would have been the last few games of Hill's AAU career, valuable chances to better himself by playing against the top players around the country.  But even despite the setback, Hill has worked hard to recover and ready himself for his senior season at Belleville East.  

"It was upsetting missing the last month of my last AAU season with the Jets," Hill said, disappointed, "but I'm doing better, working out, and getting my wind back up."

The Illinois-bound shooting guard gets an early start each day to put in the necessary work to get back in game form.

"I go running in the morning before school," he said.  "I shoot a lot of jump shots in the gym.  Even though I can't really play full-strength yet, I still work on those things."

With the high school season only a couple months away, Hill expects to lead Belleville East this year and hopes to make a run at a state title.

"Oh yeah.  I'll be more than ready to go," said Hill.  "I'm excited to lead my team as a senior.  Hopefully we play well.  The main thing I'm looking forward to is how well we'll play in the playoffs."

Hill is accompanied at Belleville East by 2014 point guard Darreon Reddick.  The two hope to maximize their team's potential this year and use their experience to their advantage.  

"We've been making sure the team is in line so that our chemistry is our very best," said Hill.  "We have a lot of potential.  A lot of our players are good players and old players."

Hill is more of a reserved and quiet person, but when he gets on the floor, he tries to be more vocal and keep his team positive.

"I talk more in the huddles now," he said.  "I try to compliment my teammates more and make sure they pick up the pace in game."

Hill still wants to experience one important part of the recruiting process.  He has his first, and only, official visit to Illinois set up for late October.

"I'm taking my official visit October 24-26," said Hill.  "Really I want to go have a good time with the coaches.  Talk with them and catch up.  I'm still committed because I like the staff and what they have to offer.  It should be a good time."

Hill isn't a big fan of actively recruiting other players to join him, but rather wants them to make their own decisions and not feel overwhelmed.  He says it's something he learned from his own experience.  Although, there is one player in particular he'd like to have join him.

"I don't really talk to too many people," Hill said.  "I don't like to recruit players all that much.  I remember when I was uncommitted, and I want to make sure everyone else has their space.  But I'd be happy if we got Demetrius Jackson."

But as Hill continues to prepare himself for his senior season, he does have his eyes on a goal for this year.  

"I'm really close to the scoring record for my school, so I'd really like to break that and the scoring average this season," said Hill, who was a prolific scorer last season.  "Hopefully we go to state and have a chance to win it all."

One other note, Hill encouraged fans to reach out to him via his twitter with either direct messages or mentions.

You can find him at @MalcolmJets23

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