Malcolm Hill, a 2013 shooting guard with interest from fistfuls of high-major programs, gave his pledge to Illinois tonight.
“I felt that it was best for the situation right now,” said Hill, a Belleville, Ill., native. “It’s a hometown state school, so it’ll be great for my family to see me play. “
Hill said the strong alumni base and academics played a role in his decision as well.
Hill joins an Illini 2013 recruiting class that already includes point guard Jalen James, who also had plenty of high-major offers and interest and is a native of Chicago. The two have talked in the past, Hill said, but James played no role in his decision.
The atmosphere Hill felt around the current team in Champaign sold him on his choice.
“They have great team chemistry,” Hill said. “I get along real well with the coaching staff and the teammates there.”
The decision also lifts some pressure off the 6-foot-5 scorer, who in July admitted he had more offers and interest than it was possible to keep track of.
“I can actually focus more on school, and I can focus some more on my high school basketball team, not worrying about coaches watching my games or anything,” Hill said.