Hill looks back on glory years as Panther

Donte Hill warms up during a Baldwin alumni basketball team during a past summer. (Star file photo)

Donte Hill warms up during a Baldwin alumni basketball team during a past summer. (Star file photo)

BALDWIN -- Panther great Donte Hill finished his Baldwin athletic career in 1996 and has accomplished a lot in sports since then.

"I ended up going to Ferris and I coach basketball overseas now and I've been traveling all over the world," he said in a 2018 interview during the Baldwin alumni basketball game in July. "I've been to Japan, I've been to Viet Nam.

"I've been in Hong Kong and China. I've been planning to go to China and coach basketball. I've been coaching teams for almost eight years now."

He continues to coach internationally in China. His home base is in Georgia. The coronavirus pandemic sent him back to the United States.

Hill starred on some very successful teams for Baldwin.

"We were loaded," he said in that interview. We won district championships each year and made it to the regionals. We had a good group and were balanced. We've been fortunate to work with some high leveled players over the last few years, NBA guys like LeBron James

"I was a point guard here (in Baldwin). I could get to the basket. I was competitive and played hard offensively."

Hill, in a phone interview earlier this month, said he left Baldwin in 1996. Besides basketball, he also played football, and baseball and ran track.

"As a sophomore, I was a varsity quarterback on a team that made it to the playoffs and was the No. 1 team in the state and was the starting point guard for the No. 1 basketball team in the state," he said.

He and his teammates won the 4x100 relays at state his junior season. Juson Johnson was among the members of the relay team.

"My sport was basketball," he said. "It's been my calling card. My strengths as a basketball player was leadership. I was a great leader. I've always led by example. I've helped put guys in a position to win."

That includes on the professional level with players like James.

"I've worked with over 50 NBA players to help them be better basketball players as a player development coach," Hill said.

Hills has written a book on his philosophy on winning, titled "Contagious Leadership."

He tries to get back to Baldwin once a year.

"I think Baldwin is such a major part of me as a person and I grew up with a lot of people there," he said. "I have family in Baldwin. But in general, I think Baldwin is my family. It's like coming home."