Grant Hill has been named the 2017 recipient of the NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award, which honors an individual who has provided significant leadership as an advocate for college sports.
“Grant Hill’s phenomenal success as a basketball player and graduate of Duke University paved the way for him to provide opportunities for other students to pursue higher education,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “We all enjoyed watching as he achieved success on the basketball court, but I am most impressed with how he has used his professional success as a platform to regularly advocate for college sports while working to improve the lives of others through his work as a supporter of higher education and the well-being of kids all over the country.”
Hill was a two-time national champion men’s basketball player at Duke University and a National Association of Basketball Coaches All-American. He was selected third overall in the 1994 NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons and went on to play for 19 years in the league.
In 2013, Hill retired from professional basketball and began broadcasting for Turner Sports. He has called professional and collegiate basketball games, including the NCAA Men’s Final Four.
Hill and his wife, Tamia, have continued to support Duke University and students pursuing higher education, including donating $1 million to the university and establishing the Calvin Hill Scholarship Endowment Fund at the Duke Divinity School in honor of Hill’s father. Hill also has created the Grant Hill Achiever Scholarships in Orlando, Florida, and Detroit, which provide scholarships to local students.
In 2010, Hill was named a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, where he helps develop national initiatives and platforms to motivate Americans to get involved in physical activities and incorporate better eating habits into their lives. He also actively has worked with first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign.
“The NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award is a tremendous honor, and I am humbled to be in such great company with past honorees, including Coach (John) Wooden, Coach (Pat) Summitt and Billie Jean King,” Hill said. “I cherish my four years at Duke and truly appreciate how much I grew as a person and player in that time. I am fortunate to have benefited from the experience, guidance and mentorship of such great professors, coaches, administrators, classmates and, of course, my parents. Collegiate athletics teaches us to lead by example, and it is my ambition to continue to lead by example for generations to come.”
Hill will receive the award Jan. 20 at the 2017 NCAA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, and will serve as the Convention’s keynote luncheon speaker.
Named in recognition of Gerald Ford, the 38th U.S. president and a member of two University of Michigan national championship football teams, the award was established in 2004 by the late NCAA President Myles Brand. It was first awarded to the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, former president of the University of Notre Dame. Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state and a professor at Stanford University, was last year’s recipient.