US basketball

Former PBA import Malcolm Hill carving NBA path with Bulls

Delfin Dioquino
Former PBA import Malcolm Hill carving NBA path with Bulls

LONG PROCESS. Malcolm Hill has come a long way from the PBA to the NBA.

Petre Thomas/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters and PBA Images

Malcolm Hill, who once reinforced the Star Hotshots in the PBA, inks a two-way deal with the Chicago Bulls

MANILA, Philippines – A former PBA import has found his way to the NBA after several detours.

Forward Malcolm Hill, who once reinforced the Star Hotshots, is trying to carve his path in the NBA with Eastern Conference leaders Chicago Bulls.

Chicago signed Hill to a two-way contract on Thursday, January 20, after he joined the team on a 10-day deal.

Former PBA import Malcolm Hill carving NBA path with Bulls

Then just 21 years old, the Illinois Fighting Illini standout inked a deal to play for Star – now Magnolia – in the 2017 Governors’ Cup as he went undrafted in the NBA in the same year.

Replacing Cinmeon Bowers, Hill averaged 26 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals, helping the Hotshots tally a 4-3 record in the seven games he suited up for the team.

The 6-foot-6 stalwart, though, did not finish the conference and got sent home near the tail end of the elimination round as Star opted to change imports and brought in Kris Acox.

Hotshots head coach Chito Victolero previously said Hill would have been the ideal fit if not for their need for an imposing presence down low.

“We told him the problem is not him, it is us because we lack a rebounder and a post defender,” Victolero said in a mix of Filipino and English in a report on the PBA site.

Hill bounced around in different leagues over the years after his PBA stint and saw action in the Basketball Bundesliga in Germany, Kazakhstan Basketball Championship, and Israeli Basketball Premier League.

Impressing for the Birmingham Squadron, the NBA G League affiliate of the New Orleans Pelicans, Hill signed a 10-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks last December, averaging 5.7 points, 2 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in three appearances.

After his Hawks contract expired, Hill secured a 10-day deal from the Bulls this January, with the team deciding to keep him for the rest of the season after immediately proving his worth.

In his first two games with the Bulls, Hill normed 8.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1 assist.

The Bulls sit atop the Eastern Conference ladder with a 27-15 record, although the team has been on a slump as it has lost its last four games. –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.