Hill Of A Student — P.J.’s A Graduate

By Jeff Rapp, March 26th, 2010

The last time the Ohio State men’s basketball team competed was Sunday as the Buckeyes defeated Georgia Tech 75-66 in Milwaukee to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

That’s a pretty memorable afternoon, and without question reserve guard P.J. Hill was among the thrilled. However, because of the tournament, Hill didn’t get to participate in his own commencement ceremony back in Columbus on Sunday afternoon.

“I missed it,” he told SportsRappUp.com. “It was today, during the game.

“I’d rather play basketball. I mean, that would be the only thing. I’m happy that I graduated. I’m happy that I’m playing now, too.”

Some would presume Hill has had a tough senior season considering his minutes per game fell from 17.4 in 2008-09 to 12.2 this season. However, his infectious enthusiasm has remained and he’s enjoyed OSU’s Big Ten championship and run in the postseason as much as any Buckeye.

But he also has gone through this season under the radar, and that includes earning his undergraduate degree in economics. Hill joins Kyle Madsen as players on the team who have graduated. Each of them did so despite transferring – Madsen from Vanderbilt and Hill, a Minneapolis native, from Midland (Texas) JUCO.

“I actually changed majors, too,” Hill said. “I was going after aeronautical engineering but I was missing practice and all that, so I changed to econ, which is still a very lucrative field.”

Why aeronautical engineering?

“I wanted to be an astronaut,” he said. “Still, one day when basketball is done I’m going to work for NASA.”

Hill said he now can wave his sheepskin in the face of his sister, Tayler, who is a freshman on the OSU women’s team. Tayler is off to a good academic start herself.

“She’s doing excellent,” he said. “My mom and dad, that always has been valued. You have to go to school. School is number one. They always taught us to try to be the best at everything you do, so we look at school as a competition, too.”

However, it’s nice to get school in the rearview mirror, especially when you are pursuing a national championship.

“It’s a special time,” Hill said. “We’ve never been this far, and this is what we come here for, the NCAA Tournament. It’s met all of our expectations.”