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Bill Brill, longtime sports writer, editor and columnist, died today after a battle with esophageal and liver cancer. In a household lacking children, special attention is given to the two Maine Coon cats, Gus and Belle. Jane describes Gus as "Bill's best buddy. Brill was born in Philadelphia and moved to Middlesex County, Va.
Bill is predeceased by his mother, Catherine, and stepfather, Richard B. Brill, and also by younger siblings Richard Dickie and Elizabeth Sweetsie , both of whom died of cancer. He graduated from Christ Church School, two miles from the family home, in , where he played football, basketball and baseball mediocrely. He used to tell everybody that he was in the top ten in all his classes. Bill ended up at Duke by accident. His mother wanted him to "be a professional man" and he had accepted a scholarship to Cornell in the winter of February in Ithaca was -4 degrees Fahrenheit and when he arrived back in Virginia, he told his mother, "I don't know where I'm going to college, but I know where I'm not going to go.
He applied to Duke and was promptly accepted, academic standards not being what they are now. Bill was an indifferent student, more interested in the athletic teams than his classes.
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He majored in civil engineering for three semesters, but quit because they had labs on Saturday interfering with football afternoons. He then spent an enjoyable three semesters in English, but had to change majors again when a dean pointed out he couldn't graduate with his class.
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He got his degree in Economics without ever understanding what it was. He also did something that surely had never been done before at Duke — he took two classes in the same period. One professor who had a class in the basement of the Chemistry building hated to take the required attendance, and Bill would wait outside the window to see if role was taken. If not, he ran across the quad to another Economics course where the teacher was always late, He passed the first class because while the famous professor gave marvelous lectures, the class grade was determined by the exam on the book.
Bill worked, often unofficially, with football, basketball and baseball his entire college career. In football, he worked for legendary sports information director Ted Mann, Besides working the press box, he twice was hired to be the spotter for Hall of Fame announcer Bill Stern and the game of the week. It was a Tennessee-Duke game in that Bill realized he couldn't read the small white numbers on the backs of the orange Tennessee jerseys. Two days later he was fitted for glasses which he wore the remainder of his life.
In basketball, he kept the statistics for the team and in was embroiled in a controversy with a prominent Dayton columnist who argued no one player — Dick Groat — could lead the nation in scoring and assists. In both games, Groat was awarded one more assist than Bill had given him. It should have been no mystery. Groat had the ball all of the time. In baseball he kept statistics, occasionally threw batting practice, and was the announcer for the team that was rated No. Upon graduation, with a GPA near the Mendoza line, he was hired sight-unseen in January, , by the Covington Virginian as sports editor.
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The entire paper had four writers. It was hardly a bonanza. According to the internationally known curator Alvia J. My father has a saying he uses in speeches: Hill and his father, the NFL great Calvin Hill, contribute a dialogue that explores their motivations for collecting art.
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At the heart of the book are the exquisite color photographs of the forty-six artworks included in the exhibition, with commentary by Wardlaw and by Hill himself. As a star athlete, Grant Hill is well aware that African Americans who excel in sports and entertainment are more broadly recognized than their counterparts in artistic fields. He strives to inspire young people to explore their heritage and broaden their concept of excellence by learning more about African American art. By sharing his artworks with collectors and fans, Hill reminds us that while the jump shot is ephemeral, art is enduring.
Grant Hill was raised in a household filled with artworks collected by his parents, Calvin and Janet Hill. Born in Dallas, he attended Duke University, where he received a B. In , Hill was selected in the first round of the NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons, and the next year he was cowinner of rookie-of-the-year honors. Olympic gold medal—winning basketball team. Hill now lives in Orlando with his wife Tamia, a singer, and their daughter Myla, and he plays for the Orlando Magic.
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A History of African Americans. He is currently a consultant to the team. Rhoden has been a sportswriter for the New York Times since She is associate professor adjunct of African American studies at Yale University. Visions of Black Women in Literature.
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