CEU All-American athlete Kris Hill to be honored during tournament
Kris Hill, College of Eastern Utah's All-American from the 1990-92 teams, will be honored during the Scenic West Athletic Tournament held at the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center on March 4-6 in Price.
A native of Chicago, Ill., the six-foot-eight forward played under Coach Ronnie Stubbs where his 1,026 career points rank no. 5 in CEU's record book and his 842 rebounds have never been matched by another CEU player. He is remembered at CEU for his nick name "Bread Truck" when he topped the scales at 240 pounds as a freshman.
His first year at CEU, Hill averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds. His sophomore year he averaged 19 points and 16 rebounds. He was named SWAC Player of the Year and JC All-American. As a member of the USA All-American team, he was named MVP.
With teammate Junsie Cotton, he was named Outstanding Basketball Player in '91-'92. Hill helped his CEU teams to 24-9 and 25-7 seasons.
Highly recruited by numerous D-1 schools, he finally settled in his hometown and played at DePaul University his junior and senior years where he was named All-New Coming at the Great Midwest Conference. His junior year he averaged 10 points per game and eight rebounds. He lead his conference in rebounding both years.
After college he was invited to the LA Clipper's summer camp. He settled that fall in Spain where he played pro-ball for the Bilbaou Patronato team. He led the league in rebounds averaging 12 per game and adding 22 points.
He returned to the University of Utah that summer and completed his degree in exercise and sports science in 1994-95 where he caught the coaching bug. His first job was an assistant under Hall Hale at Jordon High School. In '97-'98 he was an assistant under Jeff Reiner at Utah Valley University where his team went 24-8.
The next year he left for Weber State University where he coached for Ron Abegglen and assistant coach Guy Beach. Coach Beach spent the early part of his career at CEU as an assistant where he coached Hill. While at Weber, Hill helped coach the Wildcats to a 14-12 record. It was a team made up of former CEU players Eddie Gill, Noel Jackson and Harold Arceneaux. Gill went onto play in the NBA and European leagues. Arceneaux played in the European pro leagues and is in Mexico playing pro-ball this winter.
European professional ball beckoned Hill again and he left Weber and to play ball in Portugal in '98-'99 where his Sexcial team made the playoffs for the first time ever. He helped his team take third in the league and earn one of three national cups. He averaged 24 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. He was named the league's MVP and All-Star MVP.
He spent two years playing for Portugal's Ovarense where they won the league championship twice and three-cup titles. He led the team in rebounds, named first team All-Portuguese and was top five in scoring both years.
His next move was to play for the second largest team in Portugal, the F.C. Porto Futbol Club. His team won two Portuguese cups and was named first team All-Portugal. He led the league in rebounding and was named to the All-Star team both years. After nine years of playing professional ball, his first major knee injury occurred during this time.
His next move took him to Sweden where he played for the Uppsala basketball team. He helped lead his team to the playoffs while averaging 25 points and 15 rebounds.
In 2004-05 he landed back in Portugal and plays for the Luthsitana Acors averaging 18 points and nine rebounds. In '05-'06 he finished his pro career for Oliverai and won the Portuguese Cup title, averaging 14 points, 10 rebounds.
He returned to Utah four years ago and accepted a position as an executive recruiter with Who Blue Resources and now with Professional Recruiters.
The coaching bug never left him and he started coaching again, first as an assistant at Jordon High School, where his team took second in region, and has spent the past three years as an assistant at Brighton where his teams have won region and finished in the top four in the state. He says that region four is the toughest region in the state.
Hill has found memories of Price. "I remember my team mates and being with the guys was great." Besides Cotton, he remembers playing with Antoine Davidson, Rod Belnap, Jason Martin, Matt Smith, Jermaine Avie, Darrell Benson and Kurt Schnieder.
"Most of those guys finished college and are in the professional world now. Two went into coaching with Schnieder at Granger High School in Salt Lake City and Cotton coaching Lincoln Trail Community College in Illinois.
"Price is little and it was a real eye-opener for a kid who grew up in Chicago to be there for two years. I enjoyed my time in Price, it helped shape me into the man I am today," he said.
He remembers hanging out in Emery County with Gary and Carla Arrington. "They made me a part of their family by taking me fishing, hiking cliffs and bailing hay. They showed me a different side of society."
The faculty he remembers at CEU was geology teacher Don Burge. "I could not have passed astronomy without him." He also remembers Sara Ewert who taught him history.
He has fond memories of his coach, Ronnie Stubbs. "He was tough on us, but that taught us all great life lessons."
Stubbs remembers Hill as, "pound for pound, the most accomplished athlete to play at CEU under my coaching career. He averaged double-doubles in almost every game and had to work hard to get those statistics. I am proud that he graduated from CEU and continued his education at a four-year university and he now holds a bachelor's degree."
"I don't remember another athlete that was a harder worker than Kris. He was not the most talented player on the team, but by far the hardest worker," Stubbs said.