BOSTON– Transitioning from high school basketball to the college game can be a tough thing for many players. But for Lynn’s Javaris Hill, it appears to have been seamless.
Hill, an English graduate who is now in his freshman season at Division III UMass Boston, has burst onto the scene in his first eight games with the Beacons. He’s seen significant playing time in his young career, earning more than 20 minutes per game, and he’s made the most of that time. Hill is averaging 11.9 points per game with a shooting percentage over 60 percent while also averaging 7.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.5 blocks per game.
“It’s been a great way to start the year, I couldn’t have asked for much better,” said Hill, who has yet to decide on a major. “It took a little time to get used to everything, but once I was able to get out on the court and play my game I started feeling really good.”
Things got off to a hot start for Hill, who came out of the gate with a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double in the season opening win over Bridgewater State. He came back with 14 points and 6 rebounds in the next game before cooling off a bit. Then, on December 5, Hill had the game of his young career with a 32-point outburst in a win over Castleton University. He also added 8 rebounds and 3 assists to his performance.
Hill gives a lot of credit to his new teammates for welcoming him into the fold so quickly and pushing him to get better every day.
“I have great teammates, they were all very welcoming from the beginning,” said Hill. “Not only that, but they push me at practice. They’re always making me want to get better in all parts of the game, on and off the court.”
In addition to his teammates and the coaching staff, Hill noted that one of the main reasons why he chose UMass Boston was so he could remain close to his family.
“Obviously the team and the coaches were important in my decision, but so was the opportunity to stay near home and play,” Hill said.
Hill noticed right away the differences between high school and college ball, and he knew early on that he was going to have to work hard to succeed.
“The game is definitely faster, and the style of play is pretty different from what I did in high school,” said Hill, who was a Northeastern Conference all-star with the Bulldogs last winter. “But as I’ve been getting my reps in and starting to find my shot I’ve been gaining more confidence.”
Hill and the Beacons have gotten off to a solid start so far this year, currently standing at 5-3. After going 1-3 in a stretch of four consecutive Little East Conference games, UMass will try to get back on a roll with two non-conference home games this week.
As for Hill, who has hopes to one day go play professionally overseas, he still has goals to chase.
“I want to win (Little East Conference) Freshman of the Year, and I want to win a (Little East Conference) championship,” said Hill. “I believe in myself and I believe in my teammates, and I think we can accomplish those goals.”
Hill and the Beacons will take on Emmanuel College, who carry Winthrop native Devin Pulsifer on their roster, Tuesday night (7) at Clark Athletic Center.