Sixers' George Hill: 'I always wanted to be like Allen Iverson'

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Dan Roche
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George Hill: 'I always wanted to be like Iverson' originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Every NBA fan had a hero growing up. For many folks in their 30s, it was Michael Jordan.

Not new Sixers guard George Hill.

Hill was a guest on the Inside the Green Room podcast with teammate Danny Green, and he said his basketball hero as a youngster was a player very near and dear to the hearts of Sixers fans.

“As a kid, I think every kid grew up watching Jordan, that was every kid’s idol … you just wanted to be like Mike," Hill said. “I was that rough kid; I came from the inner city. I always wanted to be like [Allen] Iverson.”

From growing up in Indianapolis, to Broad Ripple High School, to IUPUI, and seven different NBA franchises, Hill wore Iverson’s No. 3 as a tribute to his hero. Now, as excited as he is to join the Sixers, that streak will end, since Iverson’s number is retired. Hill will wear No. 33 for the 76ers.

“I was a fan of him," Hill said. “I loved everything he stood for, his demeanor on the court, off the court was something I can relate to. He was the one of the biggest reasons I wore No. 3.

“Coming here was kind of tough for me, because the reason I wore No. 3 is the reason I can’t wear No. 3 now. But it’s all respect. I get to play and put on the jersey that one of my mentors and someone I really looked up to wore, and wore it proud. I have two 3s on my jersey now – one for me, one for him.”

Hill said his agent surprised him for a recent birthday with an Iverson jersey, autographed with a personal message from The Answer. Iverson called him on the phone to deliver birthday wishes, as well. 

“That was probably one of the best gifts I ever received in my life,” Hill said about Iverson’s call. “Something that I’ll always remember, and something that I’ll always cherish.”