USA Basketball have confirmed that Grant Hill will be the replacement for Jerry Colangelo as its men’s national team managing director following the Tokyo Olympics.
Hill won an Olympic gold medal with the US at the 1996 Atlanta Games and was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018 after an NBA career that spanned 19 seasons and saw him make seven All-Star teams.
He also was a two-time national champion at Duke, plus played on five USA Basketball national teams that went a combined 26-1.
“It’s just an incredible opportunity, also an incredible challenge,” Hill said after his appointment was confirmed on Saturday.
“I had the good fortune of participating in international play – the Pan American Games, of course the Olympic team – and I have been a fan of Team USA going back to the 1984 Olympic team when I first started to fall in love with basketball.
“The more I thought about it, the more intrigued, excited and the more willing I was to roll up my sleeves and move forward with this awesome responsibility.”
Colangelo has been planning to retire after the Tokyo Games, which were delayed one year to this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The managing director role was created for him in 2005, after the Americans lost three games in the 2004 Athens Olympics and returned with a bronze medal.
Colangelo has since overseen the process of selecting players and coaches, bringing in Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski – who led the US to Olympic golds in 2008, 2012 and 2016 – and now San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich to serve as head coaches.
“Grant is a proven leader of consequence and character who will continue to help us achieve on our twin goals of winning international competitions and representing our country with honour,” USA Basketball board of directors chair and retired General Martin Dempsey said.
“In making this announcement, I also want to emphasise how much everyone associated with USA Basketball appreciates Jerry Colangelo for everything he did for USA Basketball over the past 15 years.”
In major competitions with Colangelo as managing director, the US men have gone 97-4.
No matter what happens in Tokyo, Hill will take over at a hectic time. The delay of these Olympics compresses everything; the next Basketball World Cup is only two years away and the Paris Games are just three years out.
“I intend to spend an incredible amount of time with Jerry, shadow him some this summer, and I think that experience will certainly help as we move forward,” Hill added.
“He’s just an invaluable resource and has done a remarkable job, so you can’t help but learn from someone like Jerry.”