Richmond Hill High School guard Jeremiah Hill will keep his shooting touch close to home.
The slender 6-foot senior recently signed a letter of intent to play for Savannah State University after a season in which Hill shot the lights out of just about every gym he walked in to.
Hill, who reminds many of NBA star Stephon Curry, averaged 17.8 points a contest for the Wildcats, and scored more than 30 in four games to help RHHS make its first appearance in the Sweet 16 of the state playoffs in 19 years.
But Hill was more than just a shooter, first-year RHHS coach William Henderson said. He was a leader as well.
"The big knock I heard on Jeremiah was ‘Yeah he can shoot it, but he doesn’t play any defense and he’s kind of lazy,’" Henderson said. "When I took the head coaching job, he kind of surprised me. He just worked and worked. He got in the weight room and got bigger, got stronger. Towards end of year, he was our best defensive player. He was just a big, big part of what we were able to do last year."
Hill, a military dependent who has lived in Richmond Hill since his sixth grade year, hopes to study engineering, and will redshirt next year and work to get stronger. During his signing ceremony he thanked God, his parents, coaches, classmates, teammates and friends for their support over the years.
"I appreciate everyone in this room," he said. "It wouldn’t have been the same without your support. I love every one of you and thank every one of you."
Henderson called Hill "a great kid."
"He’s got great character and a phenomenal work ethic. He works hard both in the classroom and also on the basketball court," Henderson said. "Jeremiah meant a lot to our program this year. He was our leading scorer, provided senior leadership, and really stepped up his defense as the year went on. He set a great example for what can be accomplished with hard work and dedication and hopefully our younger guys can see the success that he’s had and follow that example."
Hill credited teammates for letting him "step up and take shots," he said. "Knowing they have the confidence and trust in me to perform the task made it a lot easier."
Henderson said Hill also had the right idea about schoolwork.
"I told him we could have this tomorrow," Henderson told those who assembled in the school’s Link media center to celebrate Hill’s signing. "Jeremiah said, ‘No, coach, I have exams tomorrow.’"
Hill, who had his share of late-game heroics last season, said there were times when he felt he couldn’t be stopped on the court.
"I felt like I could do anything I wanted to," he said. "If I missed a shot, I’d get the next one. My dad taught me if you miss a shot, that shot is over with there’s nothing you can do but focus on the next shot and try to make as many as you can."