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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Hill, Parrom staying sharp in Tucson Pro League”

Will Ferguson/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
Will Ferguson
Will Ferguson/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

As Arizona basketball players Solomon Hill and Kevin Parrom walked into Northwest Center gymnasium, spectators turned their heads away from a down-to-the-wire overtime game to the two Wildcat players.

This is the site of every Tucson Summer Pro League game; most UA players spend the hot Tucson summers playing in a league created by former Wildcat Corey Williams.

This year, Parrom and Hill are playing in this league for the first time. They didn’t get a chance to play last summer because they were incoming freshmen.

“”It’s fun to be out here, you never know who you’ll meet out here,”” Hill said. “”It’s good to come out here to let the fans see you, it’s always good to see everyone.””

Prior to one of their games, Hill and Parrom wanted to be on the same team, but Williams, who makes sure the games run smoothly, quickly separated the two in order to even out the teams.

“”We can’t have more than two guys from the same school on the same team, it’s NCAA rules,”” Williams said. “”We try to put them in situations they’re supposed to be in. They’ll have more fun playing against each other than with each other.””

The Tucson Summer Pro League has been around since 2004. It’s a league sanctioned by the NCAA that allows UA players to play without worrying about breaking any rules in their college eligibility.

Last summer, former Wildcat Jordan Hill played in the league just a week after being drafted by the New York Knicks in the 2009 NBA Draft.

“”The intention was to set it up for our pro guys and Wildcats guys,”” Williams said of his initial intentions for the league. “”But we also have great men’s league players in the city, too. It’s something I wanted to do for our guys.””

The league has players who attended junior colleges, Division I schools and also players who just play for fun.

Sometimes, Division I players working with those who have no collegiate basketball experience can get frustrated, but at the end of the day, the Division I-level players know it’s all for fun.

“”We’re just out there playing and trying to get a good run,”” Parrom said. “”I don’t really care too much, I’m just trying to make sure everybody is playing hard and together.””

Parrom and Hill both admit that being in Tucson, as opposed to being back at home, has allowed them to focus on getting better rather than getting caught up in any distractions.

“”It’s basically like a job, 9 to 5,”” Parrom said. “”Solomon and I basically work out every day except the weekends.””

For Hill, this is the first summer he will have worked out with the staff, after being at home for most of last summer. Hill showed up last summer overweight and had to put in extra work to lose the weight well into the season.

“”Coming in last year, I was behind. Going home, I don’t think I would have had the same work ethic,”” Hill said. “”It was all about staying here, knocking out a few classes and getting in the gym this summer.””

Hill looks to be in great shape after showing up a bit chubby last summer; working alongside the UA staff over the summer seems to be benefiting the small forward.

Both Parrom and Hill enjoyed the match-up against one another, and UA fans got a glimpse of what practices probably look like.

Several other Wildcat players are expected to join the league this summer as UA players MoMo Jones and Kyle Fogg return from summer break in mid-July.

“”Maybe we can get some of the freshmen to play,”” Hill said. “”There’s nothing else out here to play in, so if we can get them out here it’ll be good for everyone.””

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