NBA

George Hill Hangs Out With Zebras and Kangaroos When He’s Not Playing Basketball

When it comes to exotic animals, George Hill puts Darnell Dockett to shame. The veteran point guard has spent 12 years in the NBA for a number of different organizations. Along the way, he’s earned millions as a key role player for the San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, and most recently, the Milwaukee Bucks.

But when he’s not sinking 3-pointers, George Hill spends his time hanging out with zebras, kangaroos, and scores of exotic animals on his 850-acre ranch. In other words, he makes Joe Exotic look like an amateur.

George Hill’s NBA career

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Part of a stacked 2008 NBA draft class headlined by Derrick Rose, George Hill had to wait a while to hear his name called. San Antonio selected the sharp-shooting guard with the 26th overall pick. He played just three years for the Spurs mostly as a bench player. However, Hill got a chance to return to his native Indiana when he got traded to the Pacers.

The local hero transformed his game. Hill went from starting just 55 games in three years with the Spurs to earning 270 starts in five years with Eastern Conference franchise. He averaged 12.3 points per game and helped lead Indiana to four playoff berths.

Hill’s best season came in 2016-17 when he averaged 16.9 points on 40.3 percent shooting from 3-point territory with the Utah Jazz. The 6-foot-3, 188-pounder spent half a season in Sacramento before getting traded to Cleveland. Hill once again found himself on the trade block, as he got shipped to Milwaukee in a massive three-team deal.

Since swapping his Cavaliers jersey for Bucks colors, Hill has been relegated to bench duties. He didn’t start a single game last season and had come off the bench in all 52 appearances this year. Despite his reduced playing time, Hill actually shot a career-high 48 percent from downtown before coronavirus pandemic put the NBA season on pause.

Bucks guard has made $94 million

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If you can afford an 850-acre ranch, you’re going to need a ton of money to not only buy it but keep it running. Well, even as a role player, George Hill has made more than enough cash to support his love for animals and nature. According to Spotrac, the 34-year-old has earned $94 million in his NBA career.

It took a few years for him to finally break the bank, though. Hill earned well under $2 million per season in each of his first four years in the league. However, the Pacers inked their hometown star to a massive deal that paid Hill $8 million annually.

After brief stops with the Jazz, Kings and Cavaliers, he earned another lucrative payday. The Bucks signed Hill to a three-year deal worth nearly $29 million. His highest single-season salary came in 2018-19 when he earned $13.4 million. But while many athletes spend frivolously on jewelry and cars, George Hill has invested his NBA fortune in a way that would make the Tiger King jealous.

Hill’s 850-acre ranch is filled with exotic animals

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For many of us, figuring out how to pass the time during the COVID-19 pandemic has been torturous. Quarantine protocol encourages social distancing and has certainly turned the world on its head. But for George Hill, it’s given him time away from the court to focus on his true love: exotic animals.

According to Malika Andrews of ESPN, the journeyman point guard purchased an 850-acre plot of land in August 2017. Since then, Hill has transformed it into a scene that looks like you’ve been dropped into Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Of course, his ranch, which is eight times bigger than The Texas Zoo, wouldn’t be complete without exotic animals. And let’s just say that Hill’s massive NBA earnings have afforded him the opportunity to buy some expensive friends.

Hill says he purchases his animals from Texas-based licensed specialty breeders. According to Lonesome Bull Ranch — an exotic wildlife breeder in Corpus Christi — zebras run anywhere from $3,950 to $5,750. The most expensive animals on Hill’s property are the female sable antelope and kudu, which cost $20,000 to $25,000 apiece. He only keeps herbivores that can nibble on the grass, roots and shrubs.

Ironically, Hill is also an avid hunter. However, he made it clear that the kangaroos, zebras, and other exotic animals are off-limits.

“The only thing I hunt on my land is wild hogs and coyotes because they cause so many problems,” Hill said.

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference