Malcolm Hill: 4 things to know about Bulls signee, Illinois star

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4 things to know about Bulls two-way signee Malcolm Hill originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Malcolm Hill, who signed with the Chicago Bulls to a 10-day hardship contract late last week, impressed head coach Billy Donovan in Saturday's loss to the Celtics.

"He’s been here for a day-and-a-half,” Donovan said of Hill, who hit a 3-pointer, drew two charges and forced a travel on Jaylen Brown in 18 minutes. “And he did a good job defensively.”

Such a good job that, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Bulls intend to sign Hill to a two-way contract, which would keep him around through the end of the season.

Here are four things to know about the 6-foot-6 wing:

1. He's an Illinois high school product

Hill, 26, was born in St. Louis, but when he was four years old moved to Belleville, Ill. with his family. There, he enjoyed a decorated high school career at Belleville East.

As a senior at Belleville East, Hill averaged 25 points and finished third in the 2013 Illinois Mr. Basketball voting. That year, Simeon's Jabari Parker won the honor for the second straight season, while Whitney Young's Jahlil Okafor finished second.

A four-star recruit (70th nationally, 22nd among shooting guards), Hill originally committed to Illinois under Bruce Weber, and remained so even after Weber was fired and replaced by John Groce in March 2012.

2. He was a star scorer in Champaign

Hill stayed all four years at the University of Illinois and blossomed into a standout scorer. He averaged 13.5 points for his four seasons, 18.1 as a junior and 17.2 as a senior, and was named to the All-Big Ten second team in 2016 and 2017.

By the time he left Champaign after the 2016-17 season, Hill was the third-leading scorer in program history, a position he holds to this day. Hill's 1,846 career points trail only Deon Thomas (2,129) and Kiwane Garris (1,948).

(And no, Hill did not overlap with Ayo Dosunmu. Dosunmu's freshman season was in 2018-19).

3. His professional career has had many stops

After going unselected in the 2017 NBA Draft, and joining the Oklahoma City Thunder for Summer League that year, Hill embarked on a transient international career.

In the summer of 2017, he signed on for a brief stint with the Star Hotshots of the Philippine Basketball Association, then in September signed with Telekom Baskets Bonn of Germany for the 2017-18 season. After a run with the Utah Jazz in Summer League 2018, Hill spent the 2018-19 season with MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg (Germany), the 2019-20 season with BC Astana (Kazakhstan) and 2020-21 with Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel).

In October 2021, Hill signed a training camp deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, but was waived before the start of the season. He thereafter appeared in 14 games for the Birmingham Squadron, the Pelicans' G League affiliate, averaging 16.8 points and shooting 40.2 percent from 3-point range.

4. He made his NBA debut on Christmas Day, 2021

Hill's long-awaited NBA debut came on Dec. 25, 2021 while on a 10-day hardship deal with the Atlanta Hawks. He went scoreless in two minutes.

But in his third and final game with the Hawks, Hill shined. Funny enough, that game was against the Bulls at the United Center. On Jan. 29, Hill scored 13 points and made three of five 3-pointers in a 14-point Bulls victory.

In his Bulls debut, Hill earned enough of Donovan's trust to play closing minutes in a tight game on the road. Now, he's earned the front office's trust enough to secure his best NBA opportunity yet.

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