The full, frank story of a remarkable life’s journey—to the pinnacle of success as a basketball player, icon, and entrepreneur, to the depths of personal trauma and back, to a place of flourishing and peace—made possible above all by a family’s love
Grant Hill always had game. His choice of college was a subject of national interest, and his arrival at Duke University cemented the program’s arrival at the top. In his freshman year, he led the team to its first NCAA championship, and three championship appearances in four years. His Duke career produced some of the most iconic moments in college basketball history, and Coach K proved to be a lifelong mentor. Later, as one of the NBA’s best players and a new face of the Detroit Pistons franchise, Hill was the first person with the potential to give Michael Jordan a run for his money, not just as a player but as a brand. His $45 million rookie contract was almost the least of it. He turned down Nike for Fila, and soon Method Man and Tupac Shakur were wearing his shoes.
Hill writes candidly about all of it, including the transactional impermanence of life in the league and the isolation caused by his growing fame. His parents and friends helped ground him, and eventually he met a gifted musician named Tamia. The love he found with her and the arrival of their two beautiful daughters would be his rock as a brutal and mysterious injury sidelined him, coinciding with his wife’s own serious health struggles.
With openness and insight, Hill relates his entire path, including post-career highlights like his Hall of Fame induction, co-ownership of the Atlanta Hawks, the directorship of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team, and even a yearly gig calling the Final Four. Hill’s father, Calvin, used to tell him that there were always a lot of reasons but never any excuses, and Game is a distillation of a lifetime’s effort to understand the reasons—the good and the bad. At his hardest moments, Hill sought out wisdom from others, stories of inspiration and overcoming obstacles. Now, with Game, he has returned the favor.
"Doubting my sincerity about the game like questioning my existence," proclaims seven-time NBA All-Star Hill in this stellar account of his remarkable career. He begins by briskly charting his prodigious rise through the ranks of high school basketball in Reston, Va., in the 1980s, before arriving at Duke University, where, in the early '90s, he led the Blue Devils to two National Championships. Following Duke, Hill was drafted by the Detroit Pistons and went on to make his name over 18 seasons as one of the NBA's most talented players. As he revisits "lightning-in-a-bottle" moments on and off the court, Hill conveys his deep reverence for the sport, vividly evoking its febrile draw where, he writes, "the ball possesses its own kinetic energy" and bringing to life the inimitable spirit of his mentor and coach Mike Krzyzewski, who, Hill recalls, "spliced carefully, almost artfully." However, Hill's achievements came at the cost of a number of injuries, and multiple ankle surgeries led to his retirement in 2013; in closing chapters, where his family life provides a contemplative denouement, he remarks that some days "each stride feels like a timid probe on fiery coals." Even so, his passion for the court never wavers as he confesses, "My life still revolves around it." Hoops fans shouldn't pass this up.