NIU’s Hill no longer feels pressured

By Todd McMahon

“Last year I put pressure on myself because I sat out so long. I wanted to do well my first year.” – E.C. hill on what she had to endure a year ago in taking the floor each night as a Huskie.

No longer is it 1991-92. Rather, Hill, who is classified a junior after sitting out her very first year as a Proposition 48 casualty, has started her “sophomore” season with the greatest of ease.

Seven games into the 1992-93 campaign, Hill is leading the Huskies in five statistical categories – scoring (20,0), three point field goal percentage (.500), free-throw percentage (.846), assists(32) and steals (22).

This all coming on the heels of a year which saw Hill experience a very bumpy ride.

Coming out of Chicago’s Whitney Young High School in 1990, the 5-7 point guard was rated the country’s top player in numerous national publications.

But with the academics standing in her way, Hill was unable to prove the experts right and had to watch from the stands as NIU finished 25-10 and participated in the NAtional Women’s Invitational Tournament.

The pressure became so great last year that Hill was forcing herself to perform up to the high expectations fans and the media placed on her three years ago.

“I wanted to make an impact so bad when I first started playing,” she said. “I can deal with the other htings, like the media. But with the pressure, I wanted to to do well so bad … I just put the pressure on myself more than anyone else did.”

Now, the pressure is off, Hill admitted, and it all had to do with the other part of the equation for success – experience.

“This year I know what to expect,” she said. “I have a year under my belt, and I’m getting used to it.”

Hill has become so relaxed this year that she has scored in double firgures in each game and earned the Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Month for December.

But Hill admits she doesn’t go into a game looking to score.

“For games, I really don’t worry about what my individual thing is,” Hill said. “I just try to do my job and get everyone else involved … That’s when my game opens up.”

It also doesn’t hurt to have teammates who have made great strides since finishing 184-14 last season.

“Everyone has improved individually and that has made us a better team,” stated Hill. “Last year, we started