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Men's Basketball

Former Texas basketball player Matt Hill rising through NBA coaching ranks with Orlando Magic

Posted June 16th, 2017

Here’s a piece of Longhorn trivia to stir up conversation this Father’s Day weekend. Of the seven freshmen who were on the Texas men’s basketball roster in 2006-07, three remain active in the NBA.

One you certainly know: recently crowned NBA champion and Finals MVP Kevin Durant.

RELATED: Kevin Durant sends Rihanna love after winning NBA Finals

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Another should be easy for devout Texas fans who follow the pros: point guard D.J. Augustin is still cashing checks with the Orlando Magic.

The third? Well, it’s a bit of a trick question, but Matt Hill just completed his fifth season with the Magic — as a member of the coaching staff. The 29-year-old holds the title of advanced scouting and player development coach.

In this file photo from Dec. 16, 2006, Texas’ Matt Hill shoots over Texas State’s Chris Agwumaro in Austin, Texas. Texas’ Matt Hill returns to his hometown of Lincoln, Neb., Wednesday to play Nebraska. The last time Hill played at the Devaney Sports Center, he was the best player on the floor in his high school team’s loss in the semifinals of the state basketball tournament. When the Longhorns visit, the Lincoln Southeast graduate figures to be on the bench more than the court. (AP Photo/Deborah Cannon)

Hill was recently profiled by Dirk Chatelain of the Omaha World-Herald, where he spoke about how he’s stuck on with the Magic despite multiple coaching changes and what life is like as a young coach trying to mentor players older than himself.

He also reminisced about his days playing alongside Durant:

His learning curve started 11 summers ago at Texas. Hill had played in AAU tournaments against a few five-star prospects, but he was still pretty green when he arrived in Austin. Then he started playing pickup games. Of seven Longhorn freshmen, none were qualified to defend Durant.

“We were trying to figure out who would match up with him,” Hill said. “I remember guarding him and it was like, this is a joke. I can’t guard this dude. I can’t. No chance. But I did a lot that summer.”

While Durant and Augustin left early, Hill stuck around the 40 Acres for four seasons. The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 1.4 points and 2.1 rebounds over his career, and is remembered for the afro he sported as a freshman.

Click here to read the entire feature about Hill’s coaching career and his continued relationship with Durant.

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