Grant Hill to Succeed Jerry Colangelo as USA Basketball National Team Director

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2021

FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2018 file photo, Grant Hill speaks during induction ceremonies at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.  USA Basketball announced Saturday, April 3, 2021, that Hill will take over as managing director of the men’s national team after this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.  (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

USA Basketball announced Saturday that former NBA star Grant Hill will succeed Jerry Colangelo as the managing director of the USA men's national team.

The transition from Colangelo to Hill will take place following the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

Hill said the following about the new opportunity:

"It is a tremendous honor to serve as managing director of USA Basketball's Men's National Team. I am looking forward to working with the USA Basketball staff and Board of Directors to lead this organization so uniquely positioned for continued growth and for developing and promoting our top talent in events around the world. As a member of the 1996 Dream Team, I know the thrill and responsibility it is to represent our country. I am confident USA Basketball will continue to showcase the top talent and highest-character players in our country."

Hill starred collegiately at Duke and spent 18 seasons in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers. He also helped lead Team USA to a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

During his lengthy NBA career, Hill was a seven-time All-Star, and he averaged 16.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.2 steals across 1,026 games, leading to a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction in 2018.

Hill is also part of the College Basketball Hall of Fame, as he helped lead Duke to national championship wins in 1991 and 1992.

Since retiring as a player in 2013, Hill has done broadcasting work for CBS, and he became part of Tony Ressler's ownership group of the Atlanta Hawks in 2015.

Becoming managing director of the U.S. men's national team will be new territory for Hill, and he will have a big challenge ahead of him when it comes to following in the footsteps of Colangelo.

The 81-year-old Colangelo, who formerly owned and served as the general manager of the Suns, took over as USA Basketball's managing director in 2005 on the heels of the men's team disappointingly only winning bronze at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

After Colangelo took the reins, Team USA won gold at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Games, and they are favored to win gold during the upcoming Tokyo Olympics as well.

All told, USA Basketball's men's team has gone 97-4 during Colangelo's tenure.

It won't be easy to live up to what Colangelo has accomplished for USA Basketball, but given Hill's status as a former NBA player and U.S. Olympian, it is possible that top-level NBA players may be even more willing to play under him.

The United States unquestionably boasts the top basketball talent in the world by a wide margin, meaning Hill will have no shortage of elite players to choose from when he succeeds Colangelo.