College Basketball

Grant Hill on Coach K: ‘There is a reason for his success’

A member of the 1991 and 1992 championship teams, Grant Hill went on to have arguably the most successful NBA career of any Krzyzewski-coached player.

“As I have been removed from school and gone through my career and my life, there is still a part of you that, when you talk to him, you feel like you’re 18 years old. But in the same breath, he’s a friend. He’s still Coach, he is still someone who gives tremendous advice.

“As you’re dealing with injuries, if you’re changing teams throughout the course of the year, making life decisions, transitioning out of one career into retirement and doing a few other things – when I was going through the process last summer of going after the Clippers, I had a lot of great conversations with Coach. There is a reason for his success. Very intelligent. Plays to win. Thinks things through thoroughly, and he’s just a wonderful leader of men, of young men.

“Our relationship is great. I went to a game in November. I brought my kids and a friend of mine that played in the NBA and his kids. Went to a game in Cameron, it was early in the year against a team that we were supposed to beat, and we beat them pretty easily. And then after the game, we’re in his locker room, and there is a receiving line of folks. He comes and visits with us 10, 15 minutes. He hasn’t talked to the media yet, and it was kind of embarrassing, it’s like, don’t worry about us, Coach.

“He gets a kick out of the relationships with his players. He enjoys those that have played for him and come back, what they’re doing in their lives. I don’t know if it’s the sentimental aspect in all of us, but he enjoys that. It’s amazing to see the relationship grow and change and evolve into something pretty special.”

Laura Keeley