Basketball team signs Chicago’s Hill

Impact with a capital “I” is the way NIU women’s basketball coach Jane Albright described her first NCAA National Letter-of-Intent signee for the 1990’s, Yconda “E.C.” Hill of Chicago’s Whitney Young High School.

A Street & Smith’s First-Team All-America, the 5-7 Hill is considered one of the top prep guards in the nation and has been rated as the No. 2 high school prospect behind 6-5 center Lisa Leslie of Inglewood, California. Hill chose Northern Illinois over Western Kentucky University, University of Iowa and Howard University. She will join former Whitney Young High School teammate Cindy Connor (WYHS Class of 1989) on the Northern Illinois roster.

“E.C. is definitely one of the best guards I have ever seen play,” Albright said. “She adds another dimension to our game plan, and I’m excited to have the chance to coach her at the college level.”

Hill’s honors after only two high school varsity seasons run the gamut from national to state to city. As a junior Hill led Whitney Young to the 1989 Chicago Public League championship game, losing to eventual Illinois High School Association Class AA state champion Marshall High School, 62-57. Hill’s presence is one reason Street & Smith’s has Whitney Young ranked eighth in its pre-season national prep poll. The Chicago-area media puts the Dolphins as one of the teams to beat in the metropolitan region.

Parade magazine named Hill to its Third Team All-America squad at the conclusion of her junior season. She was rated by Off Glass as the No.1 sophmore in the country. Hill has twice been selected for the Chicago Sun-Times All-State and All-Area teams. She was a 1989 All-State pick by the Chicago Tribune after being named to that paper’s Second Team All-State squad in 1988. Hill earned All-Public League and All-City honors in both of her prep seasons, and was eigth in voting for the 1989 Illinois “Ms. Basketball” award.

Hill begins her final high school season averaging just under 25 points a game, with a career season-best 27 point average as a sophmore. Hill’s all-around play led to 22 point, 11 rebound, eight steal and seven assist junior season averages.

“Signing a player of E.C.‘s caliber says a lot about the total academic and athletic program at Northern Illinois University,” Albright said. “It was the total program which sold E.C. on NIU. She wanted a university where she could be serious as a student, an athlete and a person, and Northern Illinois offered her that option.”