Grant Hill, Hawks co-owner and Vice Chair of the Board, was named the 2017 recipient of the NCAA President Gerald R. Ford Award and donated the accompanying $25,000 honorarium to Atlanta’s Morehouse College.
The award honors an individual who has provided significant leadership as an advocate for college sports. Hill received the award at the NCAA Convention in Nashville on Jan. 20 and served as the convention’s keynote speaker.
Hill and his wife, Tamia, have supported Duke University and students pursuing higher education, including donating $1 million to the university and establishing the Calvin Hill Scholarship Endowment Fund at the Duke Divinity School in honor of his father. Hill also has created the Grant Hill Achiever Scholarships in Orlando and Detroit, which provide scholarships to local students.
“The NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award is a tremendous honor, and I am humbled to be in such great company with past honorees, including coach (John) Wooden, coach (Pat) Summitt and Billie Jean King,” Hill said in a statement. “I cherish my four years at Duke and truly appreciate how much I grew as a person and player in that time. I am fortunate to have benefited from the experience, guidance and mentorship of such great professors, coaches, administrators, classmates and, of course, my parents. Collegiate athletics teaches us to lead by example, and it is my ambition to continue to lead by example for generations to come.”
The award was established in 2004 in recognition of Gerald Ford, the 38th U.S. president and a member of two University of Michigan national championship football teams. It was first awarded to the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, former president of the University of Notre Dame. Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state and a professor at Stanford University, was last year’s recipient.