Stanford basketball alums to play in The Basketball Tournament

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Stanford basketball alumni Lawrence Hill ‘09 and Anthony Goods ‘09 will be teaming up once more as they compete in The Basketball Tournament this summer. Hill and Goods played all four seasons of their college ball careers together on the Farm, suiting up for the Cardinal from 2005 to 2009.

STANFORD, CA - JANUARY 4:  Stanford Cardinal Lawrence Hill during Stanford's 76-60 win over the Arizona Wildcats on January 4, 2009 at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, California.
Lawrence Hill ’09 (above) went on to play in international competition after finishing an impressive collegiate career on the Farm. He will join former teammate Anthony Goods ’09 this summer while participating in The Basketball Tournament. (DAVID GONZALES/Stanford Athletics)

Hill started 88 of the 131 games he played for Stanford and was in the starting line-up for all 34 games of his senior season. The versatile forward played tremendously in his final year, averaging 13.6 points and grabbing 5.9 boards per game. He also dished out 76 assists, good for second-best on the team. The 6’8” big man boasted a complete game and could play both inside and out. Hill left the farm as a career 36.7% three-point shooter to go along with his solid post play.

Goods started 87 of his 115 games on the Farm. The California native dazzled with his impressive ball-handling skills and complemented the play of the Lopez brothers inside. He led the team in scoring his senior season at 16.2 points per contest while sinking a team-high 71 three’s. Goods finished in double figures 30 times during the season, finishing 38.8% of his attempts from beyond the arc.

The former Cardinal teammates are reunited for the first time since their senior years and are looking to add to their successes as professionals by competing in The Basketball Tournament (TBT).

TBT is a 5-on-5, single elimination, winner-take-all basketball tournament that began in 2014. The tournament takes place all across the country, as 97 teams will compete in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Philadelphia for a shot to take home a $1 million prize.

The semifinals and title game will be held at Fordham University in New York from August 1-2 and will be televised by ESPN.

Notable players in TBT include: Jason Williams, Nate Robinson, Brian Scalabrine, Josh Boone, Hakim Warrick, Royce White, and Smush Parker. Also involved in the production are Nick Young (as a coach), Matt Bonner (as a “general manager” for a team), and Jamal Crawford (a team’s “booster”), among others.

Many of the teams feature college basketball alumni. Hill and Goods will participate as members of Global Select in the West Region. They will be pitted against ex-NBA players like Jason Williams, NBA Champion Brian Scalabrine, and Nate Robinson in the Los Angeles bracket.

The Daily was able to catch up with Hill about his life as a professional basketball player and his involvement in TBT:

The Stanford Daily (TSD): How did your time on the Farm, both on and off the court, prepare you for life after Stanford?

Lawrence Hill (LH): Stanford is the best school-and-sport combo in the entire world.  I was appreciative of the acceptance to go there, but to leave with my experiences as a student-athlete was more than I could have imagined. I fought through adversity. I learned how to succeed in a class curriculum that allows you to get what you put into it (much like life). And I learned most how to communicate with people of all ages, races, backgrounds, and interests. Stanford is more than a school, as you know that.

TSD: What has been your most memorable moment in professional basketball?

LH: My most memorable moment was finishing first place my rookie year in Mexico. We lost in the finals, but that was such a great feeling to accomplish a huge goal through over 40 games to finish on top. Putting the work in and being rewarded for it was special.

TSD: What is the biggest difference between your professional and collegiate careers?

LH: Professional basketball is about letting players play with more freedom and motivating yourself to work harder. College was mostly the opposite with coaches, fans, and trainers motivating me to push myself to higher limits. Some guys have trouble transitioning to professional ball. My motivations are my wife, and my love of the game.

TSD: What drew you to play in The Basketball Tournament this year?

LH: I heard about it from AG (Anthony Goods) and I knew I was going to play. It seems really interesting that anyone can participate for such a large prize and notoriety. I want to play for the competition and chance to play with guys that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to during our seasons because we all play in different countries.

TSD: How did you become a member of the Global Select team?

H: After AG asking me to play, and hearing that there were a group of guys on the team that I knew already, I was on board.

TSD: How has your relationship with Anthony played out after your time on the Farm?

LH: We were friends and played together in AAU ball in high school.  We both played on the program Compton Magic.  My team was the Arizona Magic side with a bunch of kids that went to many Division I schools, just like his team.  Out of all the guys I’ve played with at Stanford, AG is the closest to me. We talk all year long and try to see each other when we’re back in the States. He’s a great guy and he has inspired me with basketball and friendships.

TSD: There are many high-profile players participating, including Nate Robinson, Jason Williams, and Brian Scalabrine. Who are you most excited to play against?

LH: I honestly haven’t even thought about that part of The Tournament.  Yeah, there are a lot of guys who are “big” names to fans and players alike, but they are all the same to me. They are guys who have given so much of their lives to basketball and basketball has been good to them. But I’m probably more excited to compete against guys I don’t know. They interest me because they will be very motivated and I will have to learn in the moment how to succeed against them. We have so much scouting in professional ball that it’s going to be odd playing in real games against guys I don’t know.

TSD: Your career has taken you from Maine to Israel to Germany. How has an international career affected your perspective on basketball? What has surprised you the most?

LH: My perspective on basketball has never changed.  That surprises me now thinking about it, but it’s true. I play because I love to. The day I don’t love playing will be the day I stop. But until that day, basketball has been a huge part of my life for the last 20 years. It gives me a way to achieve goals I set for myself and impacting lives in a positive way. I’m appreciative of all that basketball has helped me to accomplish with travel, building relationships, a collegiate degree, and the list goes on. All because I’ve respected the game, I’ve played since I was a little boy. I don’t take any of this for granted.

TSD: Any other remarks about basketball, your life as a pro, or anything else?

LH: I’ve never won a championship in any season I have played in. I have won tournaments here or there, and I hope to this July. My biggest goal in basketball has yet to be reached. I’m hungrier each season because I know this is all going to be over someday. Hopefully the competition this summer in TBT will teach me ways to elevate my game going into my next season.

Contact Irving Rodriguez at irodriguez ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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Irving Rodriguez is a beat reporter for men's soccer and basketball. He was born in Mexico, but has lived in Chicago since second grade. He is all too willing to skip homework in order to watch the Chicago Bulls and Manchester United and will defend Derrick Rose until the very end. He likes to write about soccer, basketball and analytics. Irving is a senior majoring in Physics. To contact him, please email irodriguez 'at' stanford.edu.