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Alumnus follows hoops passion

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Augustana basketball alumnus Hunter Hill is coming back from Germany after continuing his dreams of playing basketball professionally.

Hill graduated in 2016, along with several other basketball players who comprised the team that went 29-2, which tied the best overall record in Augustana history. In Hill’s four years on the team, they went 95-23, had two CCIW regular season championships, two conference tournament titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances, including a second-place finish in 2015.

Now he’ back in the United States after playing in Germany  from October until March for the Club Idstein Devils.

Reflecting on the past year, Hill said he was able to bolster the team.

“The team was struggling in the beginning of the season as they had moved up a league from the previous year so they needed a scorer and to get back to winning ways,” Hill said.  “I was able to help them accomplish both.”

Augustana basketball head coach Grey Giovanine kept in contact with Hill and said he did well with the team.

“Hunter had a great season taking a marginal team and making them good,” Giovanine said. “He was one of the leading scorers in the german league he played in and we expect him to move up in competitive divisions next season.”

When Hill left Augustana, he left behind quite a legacy. With awards such as 1st Team All CCIW-Most Outstanding Player and 13 other times he was named to regional, national, or conference team, he also finished with a career record for best free throw percentage (.893) and the single-season mark of .919 in 2014-15.

During his last season with the Devils, he was playing as both a point guard and a shooting guard.

He said the team was a bit different from his time at Augie.

“The team was different from Augie in a sense that we had guys who were ages 19-35 and players from 5 different countries,” Hill said. “Additionally, the style of play is a little more systematic over there.”

Playing with a different team also brought some great memories.

“My most memorable moments from playing in this league was meeting teammates from all over Europe and also learning how to live on your own, while simply playing the game for a living,” Hill said.

As he has been staying over in Germany, Hill found the lifestyle “pretty easy” and a “generally easy” transition coming from the U.S. and has been using his time to travel Europe. He said he’s visited Paris, Innsbruck, Stuttgart, Munich, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

Despite being overseas, Hill still follows Augie basketball. He said he watched this year with anticipation and elation as the Vikings went to the championship game. Although they lost, Hill said he was still a proud Viking.

“I watched them work all summer, though, so I was not surprised; it was just a matter of when the would take advantage of the opportunities they were given,” he said. “They did just that and I look forward to the future of Augie hoops!”

While keeping an eye on the Vikings, Hill has been looking for opportunities as he gears up for his second year in Germany. Although he won’t find out anything until July or August, he said he’s excited to prove himself next year.

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