Hill's NBA success boosts IUPUI

July 1, 2008
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geohillDespite George Hill’s departure for the National Basketball Association, IUPUI men’s basketball coach Ron Hunter said the program is far from dead.

When Hill left—despite having one year of eligibility remaining—many hoops experts predicted that would stunt the growth of the IUPUI program.

The prospect of seeing an NBA first-round draft pick certainly would have packed in the fans to the Jaguars’ home venue on the west side of downtown. But Hunter said momentum is building not in spite of Hill’s departure—but in some ways because of it.

Hunter said Hill’s success at IUPUI has been a strong recruiting tool with area high school players and a strong motivational device with current players.

“George Hill came in a skinny kid with some talent, and he left a millionaire,” Hunter said. “We tell our kids it is about hard work, having some luck and doing things the right way.”

Though it will be difficult improving off last year’s 26-7 season, Hunter isn’t discounting the possibility. Two incoming freshmen could be the key. Hunter is touting Larry Stone from Howe and Alex Young from Northwest as his new young guns.

“Alex Young should really not be at IUPUI,” Hunter said. “He should be at a much bigger school. He can flat out play.”

Sports marketers think the promise of watching another possible NBA star in the cozy confines of IUPUI’s home arena could draw fans in record numbers this year.
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  • Perhaps state coffers should help finance a new basketball facility for this fine program instead of wasting more $$ as has been the case at the university cess pool in Bloomington.
  • Building a new IUPUI playing venue has one BIG obstacle. The ownership of the Pacers doesn't want it. Another 8,000 to 10,000 seat arena downtown does nothing for the viability of Conseco Fieldhouse. That facility has enough problems attracting concerts, etc. without another venue to compete with. But I really like the job the folks in the IUPUI AD have quietly done.
  • I think Hunter has to be right that this will help the program long term. As Hill plays in the NBA and people hear At guard, 6'2, from IUPUI people will have to give their respected attention to the basketball team. That, in conjunction with the continued improvement of the school, its facilities, and the surrounding city, should boost the program immensely in my eyes. I am rooting for the Jaguars, and hope that they can continue to represent the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana as a basketball powerhouse.
  • nice stunts
    basket ball is very nice game.This is my faovrite game.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

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