HE still has to set foot on Philippine soil, yet NBA veteran and incoming Barangay Ginebra import Herbert Hill is already the talk of the town – nay for the wrong reason.
Hill’s reputation has apparently preceded him, and his poor numbers from the perimeter and from the free-throw line have caused concern among the legion of Ginebra fans weeks before the start of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Basketball forums and fan sites have been filled with debates over the pedigree of Hill, the 28-year-old former Providence College star whose Achilles heel is apparently his free-throw shooting, having made just 43 percent of his charities in college.
Worse, the Utah Jazz draftee from the 2007 NBA rookie class fared even worse from the stripe when he turned pro, his average hitting a low of 33 percent from the charity line in 2009.
His reputation as a poor perimeter shooter and an even worse free throw shooter has caused trepidation among fans, especially following Ginebra’s experience with celebrated reinforcement Jackson Vroman, himself a pitiable free throw shooter, last season.
With Vroman as import, the Kings failed to get past the semifinal stage of this same tournament last year, losing to eventual champions B-Meg Llamados.
Still, Ginebra officials said they are willing to give the Ulm, Germany-born big man a chance to put a lock on his place in the team when he reports for duty on Sunday.
But at the same time, Kings official said they have enough time to seek out other options in the event Hill fails to live up to expectations. The tournament, which features imports of unlimited height, kicks off on February 8.
The league’s most popular team converge for its first practice of the year on Thursday.