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George Hill says he ‘probably messed up his chances’ of playing for USA Basketball

Aug 24, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

George Hill AP

Listening to Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski speak to reporters during USA Basketball’s recent mini-camp in Las Vegas, the one thing that was made clear was that they want guys on the team that want to be there, and who will sacrifice to make playing for the national team a priority rather than treating it like more of a side project.

That’s why George Hill of the Indiana Pacers might be a long shot to make the squad.

Hill was a late addition to the roster after Kawhi Leonard backed out, but later withdrew due to what he referred to as a scheduling conflict at the time. Colangelo said he’d have to wait to talk to Hill to see if his reasons were legit, and as Hill explained later, he didn’t want to bail on his youth basketball camp that had been on the calendar for quite some time.

Hill knew his decision could potentially affect his chances with Team USA, and a month later he stands by that assessment.

From David Astramskas of Ball Is Life:

“I probably messed up my chances, but if I can impact one kid’s life … that’s way more important than the USA basketball team.” said Hill talking to TMZ Sports at Venice Beach on “Ron Beals Day.”

It’s a crowded pool of players at the moment, and while Hill’s reasons for backing out at the last minute are understandable, he’s likely correct that Colangelo will look unfavorably on his decision.

  1. ncm42 - Aug 24, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Maybe it’s just me, but a player with Hill’s mindset — honoring prior commitments because he wants to make a positive difference for children who probably desperately need some positive role models — is EXACTLY who USA Basketball should want on their roster.

    Good on ya, Mr. Hill. You continue to show yourself to be a class act. Count me as a fan, sir.

  2. 00maltliquor - Aug 24, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    I stand by George Hill’s actions and thought process. Good guy.

  3. ausar02 - Aug 24, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Assuming all this information is true, I stand by both of them. I don’t fault Hill for backing out or Colangelo if he looks past Hill when finalizing the roster.

  4. raidmagic - Aug 24, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    That was the correct call for sure Mr. Hill.

  5. karlton3 - Aug 24, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    Honoring a previous commitment (to kids nonetheless) is hardly “backing out”.

    Shame on you.

  6. shanelsweet - Aug 24, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Didn’t Colangelo say something about wanting players to contact him about playing rather than waiting for him to call and ask them to play? Somebody should tell George to pick-up the phone and call Jerry. It’s been a month or more. There’s no sense sitting around wondering whether or not you screwed up your chances when you could just ask him. If you can’t talk to the man, then why would he want you to play for him?

  7. 1historian - Aug 24, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    If I can impact one kid’s life that’s way more important than the USA Basketball team.”

    Remember Charles Barkley on Team USA 20 years ago – Barkley comes in a clear and distant second.

    • simonwoldu - Aug 28, 2013 at 9:48 AM


    • simonwoldu - Aug 28, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      Am i missing something here? If this basketball camp for kids was on his schedule for so long than he obviously knew about it for a long time. Why would he join team USA in the first place if he knew for so long that he had prior commitments for kids that he cares so much about? I like Hill, and I rooted for him against the Heat all the way, but this is a BS excuse, and know he just trying to make himself look good for backing out. He probably realized he would not see the floor given the fact that he cant compete against the other PGs for playing. He is just not THAT good. He is ok. This is a bad excuse if you ask me.

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