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NBA great Grant Hill donates $1.25 million to alma mater Duke

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/06/14/22/56/J33W3.Em.156.jpeg|242
    Ross D. Franklin - AP
    Phoenix Suns' Grant Hill (33) tries to grab a rebound in front of Detroit Pistons' Ben Wallace (6) as Suns' Steve Nash looks on in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2012, in Phoenix. The Suns defeated the Pistons 109-101.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/30/20/50/526-1hQpHl.Em.156.jpeg|500
    Scott Sharpe - News & Observer File Photo
    Duke's Grant Hill dunks against Florida State's Chuck Graham on June 30, 2002.

DURHAM Alumnus and five-time NBA all-star Grant Hill and his wife, Tamia, are giving $1.25 million to Duke University to support athletics and the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences.

Duke Athletics will receive $1 million for facility upgrades; the rest will go to the Duke Annual Fund in support of Trinity College, President Richard H. Brodhead announced Wednesday.

“As an outstanding example of a Duke student-athlete, Grant Hill became a beloved part of Duke’s history,” Brodhead said in a news release. “We’re grateful that Grant and Tamia have helped to ensure that Duke’s tradition of academic opportunities and remarkable student-athletes continues well into the future.”

Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White said Hill “represents the very best of Duke University.”

“This generous gift from Grant and Tamia will enhance the college experience of many future Duke students across several disciplines, including athletics,” White said. “The fact that it comes from someone who is synonymous with the excellence that defines this great institution makes it even more special.”

Hill’s Annual Fund contribution to Trinity, combined with support from his classmates, helped the Class of 1994 reach an all-time 20th reunion class giving record of $3,062,835, according to the release.

A four-year letterman in basketball from 1991-94, Hill helped Duke win two NCAA championships – in 1991 and 1992. During that time, he earned All-ACC, ACC Player of the Year, All-America and National Defensive Player of the Year honors, and became the first player in ACC history to compile 1,900 points, 700 rebounds, 400 assists, 200 steals and 100 blocked shots in a career. The third overall selection in the 1994 NBA Draft, Hill was a five-time all-star in a professional career that spanned 18 seasons.

“Tamia and I are in a fortunate position to be able give back to the university that did so much for me,” said Hill, who graduated from Duke with a history degree. “In the 20 years since my graduation, I am certain that the academic environment, the coaches and staff, and every facet of being a student at Duke contributed to make me a better person.”

“We want to help Duke students pursue their dreams in all endeavors and hope that our donation can make it possible for future students to enjoy the same kind of experiences I did at Duke,” Hill said in the release. “We are proud to be a part of the Duke family.”

In 2000, the Hills gave $1 million to establish a scholarship fund for students on the men’s basketball team. Their latest gift will contribute to the success of Duke Forward, the $3.25 billion university-wide fundraising campaign.

Included in the campaign is a $250 million goal for Duke Athletics that focuses on three areas: facility enhancements and support, scholarship and program endowment, and operating funds. The department has raised a total of $185 million so far. The Annual Fund has a goal of $215 million, of which $139.3 million has been raised.

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