The Hill family basketball legacy needs funds to continue its impact on the community

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. – When you are on the field with Coach Paul Hill, training is taken as seriously as the game itself

“I remember the first few practices he put us through. I was completely out of shape,” said AJ Taban, who currently plays for Coach Hill's AAU program, PJ Hoops.

Taban appreciates the discipline he gets from Hill because it has changed his game both physically and mentally.

“I owe the way I behave to Paul [Hill]. My confidence is limitless. He just builds me up,” said Taban.

Hill has coached boys and girls basketball in the Twin Cities for more than 30 years. He has worked with hundreds of players, including his own eight children. All of his children who graduated from high school have enrolled in DI college basketball programs with full scholarships. Two of his children played professionally, including his daughter, Taylor Hill – A life without childrenwho later played in the WNBA.

“I think basketball, to me, is an investment in the community and I think we need more people in this community investing in the kids and then guiding them in the right direction with good, strict discipline and a lot of love,” Hill said.

Tough Love had a tremendous impact on dozens of PJ Hoops alumni who credit him with making them who they are today as adults, especially Stavon Williams, who played for Hill 24 years ago.

“He saw something in me,” Williams said. “He really helped me see things differently, like the way I train. He told me, 'I know you're better. You can do this.' And in the back of my mind, I thought, 'You're right.' No one had ever challenged me like that, especially because I didn't have a father figure.”

Hill showed Williams how to be the father he wanted to be.

“The way I raise my children… I learned that from him,” Williams said through tears.

Hill hopes to continue changing lives, but he can't do it alone.

“We need someone in the community who can sponsor this program to get these kids off the streets, get them into school, get them an education through basketball, and then come home and give back,” Hill said.

To learn more about PJ Hoops, click here.