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Jordan Hill: The NBA Draft's bounce-back player

MIKE BALDWIN Modified: June 17, 2009 at 5:17 pm •  Published: June 17, 2009

"Jordan's a great feel-good story for anyone willing to dream and anyone that believes in the power of love and prayer," Graham told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

One of the oldest players in the draft — he turns 22 in July — Hill's game has been compared to Toronto's Chris Bosh.

"Outside of Blake Griffin, he might be as close to being ready for the demands of an 82-game schedule as anyone else in this draft," said one scout. "There are not many guys in this draft with his size, length and athleticism. He should make a significant impact as a rookie."

O'Neill, who is helping compile draft analysis reports for the Memphis Grizzlies, said Hill has better shooting range than given credit and could play a few minutes each game at center.

"He needs to add a little more bulk and a couple more go-to moves in the post," O'Neill said. "But he's made such leaps and bounds that once he concentrates on just basketball he's going to keep getting better."

Hill's draft stock has yo-yoed the past two weeks. Some reports earlier this month had Hill slipping to 10th or lower. A week before the draft, speculation is Hill could go as high as No. 4, no later than No. 8 to the Knicks.

No one would have projected Hill would be a top 10 pick a few years ago when he was shuffled from residence to residence. He played only two years of high school basketball and played for three different coaches at Arizona.

"A lot of people would have cracked," said Franzetta Ivy. "To lose his mother, then have his father and stepmother travel a lot, to staying with us, he literally was by himself (at Arizona).

"He has never gotten into any trouble. He'll be a good role model for kids. He's matured a lot. Going to Arizona, far from home, and improving both in school and in basketball, speaks volumes."