Hill’s spark to ignite Huskies

By Kris Felde

“E.C. (Hill) is a great ball handler and a super quick player,” head coach Jane Albright-Dieterle commented.

As an All-American candidate, Hill’s main priority this year will be simple—bring home victory.

Already named to the preseason First-Team All-America squad by Street and Smiths and chosen as the No. 2 point guard in the nation by NCAA Preview, Hill will attempt to bring to NIU what Michael Jordan brought to the Chicago Bulls, Larry Bird to the Celtics and Earvin “Magic” Johnson to the L.A. Lakers—a championship.

At NIU she currently rates 10th in career steals (176), ninth in career assists (249), and first in single-season steals (100, 1992-93). She needs only 21 points to break the elusive 1,000 point barrier and 89 steals to become the all-time school leader.

This Kodak District IV All-American senior has earned Honorable Mention All-American status from the United States Basketball Writers Association. A first team All Mid-Continent Conference member, she was a two-time Mid-Con Athlete of the Month in the 1992-93 season (December and March).

In the same season she was awarded both team MVP and Best Offensive Awards when she led the team in scoring (516), scoring average (17.2 ppg), free throws made (102), free throws attempted (129), assists (136) and steals (100).

Entering this season she owns or shares four season individual bests, including single game points (30, 11/30/91 vs. Washington), highest field goal percentage (.600 9/15), three point field goals made (4) and assists (9).

In only two seasons at NIU she has played in 54 of 62 possible games, made 371 of 839 field goals for a .442 percentage, and owns a .767 career free throw percentage (197 of 257).

Last year Hill travelled to Buffalo to compete for her country in the USA World University Games and brought back a bronze medal. In 1991 she competed at the United States Olympic Festival for the silver medal-winning North team. While there, she was garnered with All-United States Olympics Festival honors and was one of 12 chosen for the USA Women’s Junior National Team.

“The experience E.C. gained from playing at the World University Games just raised her level of play,” Albright-Dieterle said. “She held different roles from what she had at Northern Illinois and really increased her defensive play and pass distribution. Last year E.C. was a constant in our starting lineup, but she had to share the spotlight with four seniors. This is her time now. She has to make sure people deliver.”

While she is concentrating on basketball right now at NIU, Hill hopes to compete in 1996 at Atlanta in the Olympic Games.

“Playing in the Olympics is something I would like to do, but right now I really just want to concentrate on playing basketball here,” Hill said.

With the power, speed, and determination Hill possesses, it seems as though she will not only earn a position on the USA Team but also rightfully know she deserves to be there.