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January 13, 1997 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-01-13

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - January 13, 1996 - 3B

The former Duke standout
talks about life as an NBA star


As a member of the Duke Blue
Devils, Grant Hill led his team to two
national championships in four years.
He and his teammates had Michigan's
number; beating the Wolverines four
times. One of those victories happened
to e for the NCAA championship.
a senior at Duke, Hill was select-
ed as afirst-team All-American and the
Atlantic Coast Conference Player of
the Year; while leading the Blue Devils
in scoring, assists and steals. His team
also made its third NCAA final appear-
ance in Hill's tenure at Duke.
Hill was picked third overall by the
Detroit Pistons in the 1994 NBA Draft.
He was named co-Rookie of the Year
wJ the Phoenix Suns' Jason Kidd
n of the Dallas Mavericks). This
season, Hill is headed for his third
straight All-Star game in as many years
in the NBA, while leading the league in
total votes. He is leading the Pistons in
minutes, points, rebounds, assists and
Last Friday night, after scoring 19
points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and
handing off seven assists in an 84-78
victory over the San Antonio Spurs,
19 sat down with Daily Sports Writer
Tracy Sandler to talk about playing
against the Fab Five, being referred to
as Michael Jordan's "heir apparent"

and the trials and tribulations of being
an NBA superstar
DAILY: What was it like for you to
play against the Fab
Five, and what had
you heard about
them before your
first meeting?
was a lot of fun to
play against them. I
think it kind of
started a rivalry
between Duke and
Michigan. The first
time I played
against them, it was
kind of like the
emergence of them.
After that game,
they were getting a
lot of pub. I think the fact that they
both, (Chris) Webber and Jalen (Rose),
all the guys, came in and played, and
played real well, took us to an overtime
game; it was sort of their coming out
party on the national level.
D: How did it feel to beat a team
with that caliber of talent four times,
one time being for the NCAA champi-
onship, and why do you think that you
and your Duke teammates were so suc-
cessful against them?

H: They were a very good team and
very talented, but we were better. We
were older, and we had been together
for a little bit
longer, and talent-
wise, we were a lit-
tle bit better at that
time. They were
young, and maybe
if we played those
guys now, they'd
probably beat us. At
that time, we were
the better team, and
we just had their
number for a cou-
ple of years.
D: When you
play against that
group of guys
today, do you still
feel some of the fire and intensity of
your college rivalry, and how do you
think that you and they have changed
as players?
H: I feel it. Juwan (Howard) and
Chris and those guys, I've been playing
against them even before college, in
high school; so, the rivalry intensified
in college, and it definitely kind of
exists now. It's a friendly rivalry, but it's
something that I get up for, and I'm
sure they get up for as well.
D: Scottie Pippen has said that he
believes that you will surpass his play-
ing ability, but many people refer to
you as Michael Jordan's "heir appar-
ent." How comfortable are you with
that title?
H: I'm just trying to be Grant Hill. A
lot of times there are expectations put
on you, comparisons, you know I just
gotta go out there and be myself, be the
best that I can be and not try to live up
or be anybody else.
D: What have you learned from
those type of players?
H: I've played against them, and I've
played with them, being with Scottie
this summer. They're professionals,
and they're the best at what they do.
I've learned a lot from those guys; stuff
on the court and stuff off.
D: In 20 years, when people think of
Grant Hill, what do you want them to
remember you for?
H: Hopefully, winning a champi-
onship. That's what I'd like. Somebody
who came to Detroit and helped to
bring the franchise back to where it
once was, and that's a championship.
D: In a sports world filled with so
many controversial athletes, whether

due to their attitudes or outside legal
problems, how are you able to maintain
the morals and values you were taught
as a child?
H: I think there are a lot of good
people in this league, a lot of good peo-
ple on my team. I think being around
the good guys on my team has really
made it easy for me. Having Joe
Dumars my first year come in and
learn a lot from him, I learned the right
way to do things. I think professional
sports is good. I don't think it's any
worse than it's been since my dad
played. They have the good and the
bad. I think because of the media expo-
sure over the last five or 10 years, the
bad has been more glorified than the
D: We see so many kids today either
leave college early, or skip it altogether,
to go to the NBA. As an NBA player
who completed college, how important
do you think it is for players to finish
H: I think it's very important.
Someday, you have to put the ball
down. Whether it's a year after college
or it's 10 years, you still have to retire,
you get cut, or just stop playing
because of old age. What you attain in
your college experience, academically,
socially, and even on the court, but
mainly academically and socially, is
something that sticks with you for the
rest of your life, something that can
definitely prepare you for when the day
of playing basketball is done.
D: Growing up around such superb
athletes, such as your father and Roger
Staubach, was sports in your blood at
an early age? Did you always know that
you wanted to be an athlete?
H: I think I always wanted to be one.

Sollenberger in Paradise
E ight years later and
still a Mickik*anma
EMPE, Ariz. - The Ides of March must set off a range of emotions in
Bill Frieder each spring. For it was on March 15, 1989, that he was
both named basketball coach at Arizona State and told he was no
longer coach at Michigan.
You see, Frieder took the Arizona State job as the Wolverines were
preparing for the NCAA tournament. But he also thought he would be
allowed to coach Michigan in the tournament before departing for the
Southwest. In a sense, he thought he could be the coach of two teams at
But he didn't figure on Bo Schembechler.
"I don't want somebody from Arizona State coaching a Michigan team,"
said Schembechler, then Michigan's athletic director. "A Michigan man will
coach Michigan."
A Michigan man.
Not an Arizona State man.
Not a Michigan/Arizona State man.
A Michigan man.
And you know what happened next. Unless, of course, you've been on
Pluto for the past eight years.
Schembechler elevated Steve Fisher from assistant to interim head coach,
and the Wolverines went on to win the national championship.
Instantly, Fisher became a Michigan hero, and Frieder became a
Michigan joke.
In fact, most Michigan fans felt their team wouldn't have won the title if
Frieder had still been around.
So T-shirts started to appear with a mug of the unpopular Frieder.
Beneath his face were inscribed the following words, "Thank you, Arizona
State. We couldn't have done it without you!"
A week after the tournament ended, Schembechler removed the word
"interim" from Fisher's title, and Fisher officially became the 13th men's
basketball coach in school history.
In Tempe, Frieder was left to muddle over what might have been.
Now, almost eight.years after his awkward exit from Ann Arbor, Frieder
is still bothered by the fact that he couldn't coach the Wolverines in the
1989 NCAA tournament.
But that doesn't mean he's disappointed that he left Michigan. At least
he's not saying so.
"I love the West," Frieder said. "No, I don't miss Michigan at all. I've
enjoyed coaching out here. People love Bill Frieder out here."
Aaahhh, to be loved.
Frieder is definitely more popular in Tempe than he was in Ann Arbor.
But that's not to say that everybody at Arizona State loves him.
Arizona State hired Frieder to turn its basketball program into a national
power, and he hasn't done that. In seven full seasons, Frieder has taken the
Sun Devils to the NCAA tournament only twice. This season, Arizona State
is 8-6, with the toughest part of its schedule still ahead.
The Sun Devils will be lucky to reach the NIT.
Still, Frieder certainly hasn't done a bad job in Tempe. He is already the
second-winningest coach in school history with one Sweet Sixteen appear-
ance under his belt.
He hasn't reached the same levels he did at Michigan, though, where his
teams won back-to-back Big Ten championships in 1984-85 and 1985-86.
But Frieder remains a popular guy in the desert. Partly because of his

Growing up in the
having a father playI
ball (Calvin Hill

lockerrooms and
professional foot-
with the Dallas

Cowboys) and being around a lot of
professional athletes definitely made
me want to play and be a professional.
D: Do you find it difficult to juggle
both your personal and professional
lives? Is it difficult to go out to dinner
or to a movie without being bombard-
H: Sometimes it can be'tough, but
you learn to adjust. You go places
where people aren't really going to bug
you and just go there and have a good,
friendjy meal or go to a movie. It's def-
initely changed; it's not like it was in
college. I mean, people do recognize

The Tenth Annual University of Michigan
January 1997 PROGRAM
Campaign for a Unified Community of Justice
Opening Performance Symposium Panel BSEBL
Kelyil/Thcark Sisters Ativism in Backlash Times BA SKE TBA LL
Date: Sunday, January 19 Date: Tuesday, January 21
DTie: Sunay,0 anuaTime: 3:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.
e: 8P rCenter Place: Angell Hall Auditorium B
Tickets available at the Michigan Union Box Dialogue
Office at 313.763.8587 Martin Luther King, I
MLK Memorial Lecture Apathy Toward Activism:
A Form of Moral and Political Suicide
Dr:Maro FanJ nuBry Date: rTuesday,.JanuaryE2
Te: Mond0ayJauay2 Time: 12:00 noon -1:30 p.m.
Time. : 10.._:30 . Plc:Aun@etr01tForNEE..

No Experience
Get a Free T-Shirt!!
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