Scoring 1,000 career points on your high school basketball team is something that you’ll remember forever.
Sports director Cam Lavallee tells us about a Johnson City junior who just created that memory for himself.
“He comes in. He works really hard every day, at everything, not just one facet of the game. I think that’s really what makes him a tough basketball player is he’s multi-dimensional. He can play inside, he can play outside, and just his work ethic in the gym every day to get better,” says Head Coach Bill Spalik.
The Johnson City boy’s basketball team has a great deal of talent on it.
However, one member just hit a milestone that sets him apart from the rest.
Xavier Hill reached 1,000 career points, hitting the milestone in only his junior year.
He gave me some insight as to what the feeling was once he reached the mark.
“It was great. There was a lot of celebration. We we’re anticipating the game for awhile, because there were a bunch of delays. But, we’re glad that game, and we celebrated a lot. It was fun,” Hill said.
The excitement afterwards was preceded by some nerves that Xavier had to work through in order to achieve the goal.
“There was a lot of pressure. I had a lot of anxiety for it. But, my teammates helped me to get through it. Got me open, I hit the shot. It was great.”
Hill’s coach, Bill Spalik, described how he felt seeing one of his players achieve an accomplishment like that.
“You feel really good for the player. You know how much work is put in to it. So, when he reaches that goal, that milestone, I know that it tells him that his hard work has not gone unnoticed. That when you work hard, good things are going to happen for you. So, for me, it was a lot of fun. I know it’s a lot of pressure off his shoulders. to achieve it, and get it done and out of the way. So, I was really happy for him.”
Now Hill didn’t do it alone.
He told me he had his family in attendance, both on the court and in the stands, and that type of support means the world to him.
“It’s amazing for me because a lot of people don’t have support like that. They’ve supported ever me since I was just a little kid. They always said, whatever I wanted to do with my life they’ll support me. That feels really great.”
One of the things Xavier wants to do is play basketball in college at the Division I level.
He also told me he’s looking at a career in science, with neuroscience or biology as particular interests.
Coach Spalik believes all that is attainable for Hill.
“He goes about his business every day at school. Very good student. So, I do think that he has the aspiration to go play college basketball. I think his combination of academics along with his athletics, I think he’s going to have the chance to do that.”
Xavier said that he’s had some looks from various schools and is keeping his options open.
Those are his long-term goals though.
For now, he has other team and personal aspirations in mind.
“We want to win the sectional finals. My personal accomplishment, I want to be a better leader for everyone.”
After Hill and the Wildcats face Maine-Endwell on Tuesday, they take on Union-Endicott Thursday.