Anquan Hill is growing more and more comfortable in basketball’s two most extreme places: above the rim and beyond the arc.
That was clear in Archbishop Carroll’s victory last Sunday over Philadelphia Catholic League foe Devon Prep, as Hill threw down three dunks and knocked down three three-point jumpers.
“He’s where the game is going – position-less, 6-7, 6-8 athletes,” Archbishop Carroll coach Francis Bowe said.
Hill, a 6-8 junior swingman, had sparked the Patriots to a 9-1 overall record, including a 4-0 mark in PCL play, through Thursday. He was averaging 14.4 points and 8.6 rebounds while shooting 52% from the field.
Hill’s length, athleticism, shooting touch from distance, and strong work in the paint have confounded opponents and intrigued college scouts, who likely sense the potential for significant growth in his game.
Earlier this season, Hill picked up a scholarship offer from St. Joseph’s University. He previously had an offer from Bryant University, which has signed Archbishop Carroll senior forward Tairi Ketner.
“It’s really exciting,” Hill said of the St. Joseph’s offer. “It’s just the beginning for me. I’m only a junior and I’m really excited to have school notice me.”
Bowe said Hill, who plays AAU for K-Low Elite in Philadelphia, made a huge leap in his development between his sophomore and junior seasons.
“He’s made unbelievable improvement,” Bowe said. “As a freshman, he was a raw big. Sophomore year he was with me and doing some nice things, trying to expand his game, and then, sometimes it’s just like, over the summer, something happens and it hits.”
Hill, who lives in Mount Airy and attended Wissahickon Charter School before enrolling at Archbishop Carroll, said he always was the tallest kid in his class – the guy ordered under the basket by his youth-league coaches.
He still would sneak outside and unleash a few three-pointers.
“A lot of times I would make them, so they didn’t yell at me,” Hill said.
Still, it wasn’t until this past summer when Hill began to feel comfortable on the perimeter. That growth has continued into his junior season.
“I was always that tall, skinny kid who would be down low blocking shots all day,” Hill said. “I didn’t feel comfortable at all freshman year to be on the perimeter. I would be down on the block the whole game.”
Hill said he suspected his height could lead to a future in basketball. But he knew it would take more than a wide wingspan to get where he wanted to go.
“I always was the tallest kid in the school and I started to think, ‘Man, basketball could take me far in life,’” Hill said.
Bowe said Hill’s individual workouts in the summer have turned him into one of the city’s most intriguing prospects in the class of 2021.
“Last year he was a post player who was working on his shot,” Bowe said. “He did a lot of work. As much as the coaches have worked with him, he did a lot on his own.
“He earned that St. Joe’s scholarship because he decided, ‘I want to be a dual threat.’”
Hill’s improved versatility was evident in the victory over Devon Prep. He was a force in the paint with eight rebounds and two blocks, plus those three dunks.
But he stepped outside as well, making 3 of 4 attempts from deep.
And it’s the distance between those ends of the scoring spectrum – between a thunderous slam from above the rim and a net-tickling swish from beyond the arc – that represents the expansion of his game.
Hill knows he’s far from a finished product, too.