Richmond Hill alum Jeremiah Hill is now one step closer to realizing his dream of playing in the NBA.
Hill signed a contract this week with the Reno Big Horns, the NBA GLeague team affiliated with the Sacramento Kings. Hill went through workouts earlier this month for the Big Horns and the South Bay Lakers, which are affiliated with the LA Lakers.
The GLeague, sponsored by Gatorade, is the successor to the NBA D-League, short for developmental league, which is akin to Major League Baseball’s minor leagues.
"My agent told me when I got on the plane to come back that they wanted to make an offer," Hill said. "We decided to take it because LA was still trying to decide."
Hill's workout for Sacramento was directed by Darrick Martin, coach of the Big Horns and a 13-year NBA veteran.
"He told me he thinks I can play at the very highest level," Hill said. "I'll be able to learn a lot from him."
According to its website, 44 percent of players on NBA rosters at the end of last season had spent time in the GLeague.
Hill said the workout consisted of some shooting drills, followed by 90 minutes of playing two-on-two full court.
"I definitely need to get in better shape," he said. "It was the most difficult workout I've ever had."
Hill obviously impressed Martin as the workout wasn't with other GLeague hopefuls but rather NBA players including Luol Deng of the Lakers, Bobby Brown of the Houston Rockets and Kevon Looney, a member of the Golden State Warriors' title team this past spring.
"Those guys play the game at so much of a faster pace," Hill said. "I've been working out harder than ever since I got back."
Although 28 of the NBA's 32 teams have GLeague affiliates, games are primarily limited to geographic regions. Hill is looking forward to a road trip in early December when the Big Horns play in Lakeland, Fla., on Dec. 6 and Greensboro, N.C., on Dec. 8. The 48-game schedule kicks off Nov. 5 and ends March 24, with the playoffs beginning March 27.
Hill said games are streamed live on Facebook so that family and friends can follow the action. Training camp begins Oct. 23.
"The team takes care of setting up housing, so that's one thing I don't have to worry about," he said. "I just want to be as ready as possible when the time comes."
As a Wildcat senior in 2013, Hill averaged 18 points a game and led Richmond Hill to its first Sweet 16 appearance in the state tournament in nearly two decades. He spent his freshman year of college playing at Savannah State, but then transferred to Valdosta State, where he flourished.
As a senior for the Blazers, Hill was named a Division II All-American and the Gulf Coast Conference Player of the Year. He averaged nearly 20 points per game and led his team in scoring, assists and steals. He also was chosen to play in the NCAA Division II all-star game this past spring.