BROWNSVILLE, TX - While several NBA players are looking for lucrative international offers during the NBA lockout, former San Antonio Spurs guard George Hill decided to play for San Antonio's other professional basketball team.
The Texas Fuel of the ABA extended an opportunity for Hill to make a return to Texas after being included as part of a draft-day trade that sent the fourth-year guard to the Indiana Pacers.
Before the first of a pair of games in Brownsville this weekend, several of the Fuel players said it was not only an exciting opportunity to play with a rising NBA star, but also as a "measuring stick" to compare themselves at this point in their professional basketball careers to a player in the NBA.
That proverbial stick likely had too many notches as Hill shined early and often in a 119-93 blowout win against the West Texas Whirlwinds.
It was obvious early on that Hill was not playing at full pace, likely a smart decision considering he is currently uninsured during the lockout.
Hill was very active on defense, sitting in passing lanes, picking off passes and leading the fast break in transition. Shortly after moving from shooting guard to point guard, the Whirlwind held a 14-13 lead, but that's as close as it would get.
On the ensuing play, Hill ran the break, finishing with a dunk and then crossed his defender on an isolation play for a fadeaway and the foul.
At the end of the first quarter, Hill had 14 points, and he wouldn't be riding the pine for the remainder of the game like most would expect. He played heavy minutes and scored at ease, either squaring up for a jumper or slicing through the lane for a layup.
By the time the final buzzer sounded, Hill had collected 38 points and eight assists, all while barely breaking a sweat.
Hill and the Fuel will be back for the second game tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at Manuel Garza Gym at the University of Texas at Brownsville.