Yesterday Katie Hill fulfilled a basketball goal. She gave a verbal commitment to the U of Richmond. It was not a surprise for a player who was recruited by almost every high Major. It was no surprise that almost every IVY AND PATRIOT school was begging for hers services. This is what happens when you get 1450 on the SATS. Katie Hill did everything right in positioning herself for yesterday’s big day. Including getting to know her new Coach Aaron Roussell .
While Aaron Roussell was dominating the Patriot League at Bucknell University, he developed a relationship with Katie Hill. A relationship that included her entire family. This relationship grew over the years. It seemed Bucknell was in position to be beat bigger schools and other high academic schools for Katie Hill’s services. But then Coach Roussell was named the new head coach at the U of Richmond of the Atlantic 10 Conference. It opened up Katie Hill’s recruitment. It gave other schools real hope. Ivy and Patriot school amped up their recruitment of Hill. High Majors believed they could make it happen. But Katie Hill and her family are different. They don’t do things for show. They have no interest in having their egos stroked. They are not into bragging. They were never going to pick THE BIGGEST SCHOOL. They’re into is REAL relationships. It why KATIE HILL is off to the University of RICHMOND… because of their trust in Aaron Roussell.
The Hill’s are a close knit, down to earth family. Their support for Katie goes back to when the basketball was bigger than her. They have always been there for Katie but unlike some other parents and families, they don’t live though Katie. Her mom Liz is warm, loving and understanding person, who roots for everyone. Her dad Rob has been a rock in her life, he more than anyone has taught her to love basketball. Her older brothers Brian and Robby have showered her with so much love, it’s no wonder Katie is so beautiful and confident. It’s why Katie Hill and her family are so well liked by everyone. Katie has been taught that there is enough light for everyone to shine. It’s the reason she has always been a unselfish player and loved by her teammates. It’s why she is always smiling and having fun when in the gym. The gym rat has found that balance of working hard, yet having fun doing so. Katie Hill and her family get it. They know basketball is an important part of Katie’s life … but they have taught her there is more to life than basketball. Like academics, friends and family.
When Katie Hill arrived at SJV, everyone knew she was going to be special. It was clear she was going to be a division one player. She was 1st TEAM ALL FRESHMAN and started last season on a team with 4 Division one starters. When last years team came up short, Katie Hill went on a mission in the off season. This past summer she joined Team Rio, where she and her AAU teammates played the highest level of competition. She was sensational all summer, she turned coaches heads every time she stepped on the floor. It should have been a sign of what was about to come. Katie Hill got bigger and stronger. Her ball handling became elite and she was already a deadly shooter. She shocked everyone when she named MVP of the NO BOYS ALLOWED fall league. It’s no surprise, these days Katie Hill is one of the most skilled and talented players in the state. This year she exploded and became what was predicted years ago… ONE OF THE BEST PLAYERS IN NEW JERSEY.
This season SJV was expected to be good but far from great. This year people talked about SJV’s lack of a senior and experience. What they didn’t talk about was Katie Hill’s leadership and understanding of what her teammates needed. She knew they needed confidence and somebody willing to sacrifice the spotlight for the teams growth. It’s why you didn’t see Katie Hill padding her stats in blow-outs. She let her inexperienced teammates shine. When Madison St. Rose was getting the lion’s share of the press. She didn’t compete with Madison St. Rose, she embraced her success. You see Katie Hill has been a winner her entire life. She understands what a teammate looks like. She showed her teammates you don’t have to play to the media or the crowd. She showed them that it’s okay to play a role. She showed them it’s okay to sacrifice for the big picture. That big picture was a SCT AND STATE TITLE… and it was Katie Hill who showed them how to get there. Because in every big game this year, Katie Hill was dominant force.
So now it’s another year at SJV before the University Richmond. Katie Hill will do what she has always done; work hard in the off season. She will continue to find that balance between basketball and being a good friend, daughter, sister and teammate. She will blow up at Richmond because all SJV kids blow up in college. She will not want attention brought to her. She waited days before announcing that she had committed to the University of Richmond. She called me, to ask me not to say anything on social media. Her dad had to pressure her to finally make it public. Rob Hill wanted everyone to share in Katie’s accomplishment. The Hill family are a low key, drama free group. They are different than most Shore families. They keep to there inner circle, no gossiping or negativity directed at anyone. It’s just who they are. It’s why the U RICHMOND is getting not just a basketball player… but a true PROGRAM KID AS WELL.
Katie Hill is a jokester. When she comes to shoot at Hoop Group, everyone gets excited when she walks in the door. They get excited because everyone knows what’s coming. She will tease Grace Munt and Megan Cahalan. I am always a favorite target. But there is no bigger target than her dad Rob Hill. Rob Hill coached Katie all though grammar school. He is one of the few parents who does not live in crazy world. He is very objective when talking about his daughter. He is able to see things clearly. It’s why he is one of the parents I truly enjoy spending time and talking too. Make no mistake, that sense of humor Katie has possesses, well comes from her dad and I have the proof to prove it.
The decision to attend Richmond was not easy for Katie. She has so much respect for everyone. It was hard for her to tell so many great schools of her final decision. Only one was going to win her signature. It turns out it was U of Richmond. But it’s funny because just about every school that was recruiting Katie; texted me. Saying how happy they were for Katie. Other coaches went on twitter and wished her well. You see this is what happens when you are great kid. When you do things the right way…people and yes even recruiters who don’t sign you…root for you.
What KATIE HILL doesn’t know was last summer I told Aaron Roussell . “Your going to get Katie Hill”, she likes you and the family likes you. I told him the family and Katie won’t bathe in the recruiting process. They will not love the attention the way other kids and families do. They won’t be on twitter and social media bragging. This was a kid and family that didn’t need all the belles and whistles. They didn’t need for everyone to know that she was being heavily recruited. They didn’t need the approval of others in choosing a school. These are reasons I knew KATIE HILL WOULD CHOOSE THE U OF RICHMOND…. congratulations to a great kid and family. You could have not made a better choice