Coaches Finding Hill

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- Ahmed Hill doesn't hide his disappointment at not playing in the Peach Jam. As an Augusta native, it especially stings.

There are three national events in the area this week, but only one Peach Jam. Hill's Southern Stampede team had a rough year on the EYBL circuit – most notably with personnel issues – and didn't qualify for the finals event. Instead, he's in the Elite Youth Invitational on the other side of town, which means smaller, emptier venues and lesser competition.

Hill also feared it would mean less college coaches at his games during this pivotal live evaluation period. Fortunately for him, that concern didn't become a reality.

"I thought they'd be too busy with the Peach Jam and the guys in there," the 6-4 rising senior from Augusta (Ga.) Aquinas said following his Friday afternoon game. "But most of the head coaches are in here watching us. This is a great amount of coaches for us not playing in the Peach Jam."

There were only a handful of fans in the stands of this Paine College gym, yet there were a dozen colleges represented that are recruiting Hill, including seven head coaches.

"Most of the head coaches are here and I want to have a great relationship with my head coach," Hill said. "So for them to be here is pretty big and let's me know I'm needed in their program."

The UNC coaches let Hill know in advance that they'd be evaluating him multiple times during this week, the first of which occurred on Thursday.

"They came to see me play yesterday and said I did pretty well," Hill said, noting that he got a postgame text from UNC assistant coach Hubert Davis. "They're supposed to come back this week and watch me play again."

North Carolina will decide after evaluating Hill about whether to recruit him more aggressively. He's got a long list of schools already in serious pursuit – as evidenced by the head coaches from Indiana, Marquette, NC State, Georgia and Tennessee in attendance on Friday – and plans to go through the visit process after the summer.

"I thought about (deciding) earlier, but I didn't want to rush it and make the wrong decision," Hill said. "I just want to take some unofficial and official (campus visits) and go from there."

As for the Friday contest, Hill, and his team, started slow in this game but came alive with an aggressive second half. Hill connected on three consecutive three-pointers en route to a 19-point effort and a comfortable margin of victory.

"I got into attack mode, I just wanted to go ahead and win this game," he said. "Because I really don't want to be here – I want to be at the Peach Jam."

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