Olympian and NBA Hall of Famer Grant Hill to lead MLK Commemoration

Jan. 14 commemoration will be part of Duke’s Centennial Celebration

Grant Hill headshot

Hill graduated from Duke in 1994 with a double major in history and political science after winning back-to-back national championships in 1991 and 1992 and twice earning All-America honors. Selected by the Detroit Pistons as the No. 3 overall NBA draft pick in 1994, Hill played 19 seasons in the NBA, was a seven-time NBA All-Star and won three NBA Sportsmanship awards.

Celebrated for his outstanding career at the college and professional levels, Hill was inducted into the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.  

Hill became managing director of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team in 2021. He is also a familiar sight on television through his broadcasting roles with CBS Sports, Turner Sports and NBATV. He has been a game analyst for the NCAA Final Four and national championship game since 2015.

Hill has maintained close ties to Duke and was elected to the Duke University Board of Trustees in 2021. Hill’s mother, the late Janet Hill, also served as a Duke University trustee from 2006 to 2021 and was honored with the University Medal in 2022.

In 2022, Hill shared his Duke memories in a conversation with head coach Jon Scheyer in Page Auditorium to promote Hill’s memoir, “Game: An Autobiography.”

“I was fortunate to be a part of some great teams. And we get to relive it every March: The Pass. The Catch. The Shot,” Hill recalled, referencing his famous 75-foot inbounds pass to teammate Christian Laettner, resulting in a game-winning shot by Laettner to defeat Kentucky in the 1992 Eastern Regional Final game. The overtime win is often called the greatest college basketball game of all time.

Hill is an avid collector of African American art. In 2006, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke presented an exhibition from his collection titled “Something All Our Own.” Hill also produced and narrated the documentary “Starting at the Finish Line: The Coach Buehler Story” about the late Al Buehler, Duke’s legendary Hall of Fame track coach.

In 1994, Hill established Hill Ventures, a private company for commercial real estate investments in Florida, Arizona, North Carolina and Washington, D.C.  He serves in leadership roles on the NCAA’s Board of Governors and the NBA Retired Players Association. Hill is a co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks, and more recently, Hill and his wife, seven-time Grammy-nominated singer Tamia, acquired a stake in two sports teams in their hometown of Orlando — the Orlando City Soccer Club and the Orlando Pride, part of the National Women’s Soccer League.

The invocation will be given by the Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery, dean of Duke Chapel, with a reading/prayer and benediction by Rabbi Elana Friedman, campus rabbi for Jewish Life at Duke, and Chaplain Joshua Salaam, chaplain for the Center for Muslim Life, respectively.

Greetings will be offered by Duke President Vincent E. Price, Durham Mayor Leonardo Williams, and Mary Klotman, executive vice president for health affairs and dean, School of Medicine.

The service will also feature remarks by Duke student leaders representing the Black Student Alliance and the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association, as well as special musical performances by the jazz ensembles of Duke and North Carolina Central University. 

No flash photography or tripods may be used by members of the public inside the chapel.

Free parking is available in the Bryan Center Parking Garage (Parking Garage IV) at 125 Science Drive. ADA parking is available in the Bryan Center Surface Lot at the same address.  

The MLK, Jr. Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 15, will include a meal packaging event from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. organized by the Office of Durham and Community Affairs. Duke community volunteers will package 150,000+ meals to be distributed in Durham, Orange, Wake, and Johnston Counties through the Interfaith Food Shuttle. To volunteer, sign up on the event website.

For more information, visit the Duke MLK Celebration website.