Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have been all over the news since the Oscars slap gate incident? As NBA fans, we were curious about all the connections between the Smiths and the NBA. As it turns out, there’s a lot of it, as we discovered. So, in today’s Jada Pinkett Smith feature, we present Grant Hill, Jada’s first serious boyfriend.
In response to a fan question in 2018, Jada revealed that she and Grant Hill dated between 1993 and 1995. Hill, she claimed, was the first boyfriend she had ever brought home.
Jada married Will Smith in 1997, indicating that the relationship did not work out.
In 1999, the former basketball player married singer Tamia, with whom he has two daughters, Myla Grace, 17, and Lael Rose, 12.
Imagine the scenes if Grant Hill, a 6’8 former NBA star, slapped Chris Rock.
Grant Hill’s first year in the NBA
Grant Hill spent four years as a member of the Duke Blue Devils after graduating from high school. He was the ACC Player of the Year in 1994, as well as a two-time NCAA All-American and two-time NCAA champion. Grant Hill was regarded as one of the greatest college basketball players of his era and one of the best players in Duke history.
Hill was selected third overall in the NBA draft in 1994 by the Detroit Pistons. He averaged 19.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.8 steals per game in his rookie season. He and Jason Kidd were co-winners of the 1995 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He was quickly becoming one of the NBA’s best all-around players, excelling in all aspects of the game.
He had five All-Star appearances in his first six NBA seasons. His best scoring season was 1999-00 when he averaged 25.8 points per game.
When did things start to go downhill?
But his career took a turn for the worse after a horrific ankle injury in 2000. His first four seasons with the Orlando Magic were marred by injuries. From 2000-01 to 2002-03, he only appeared in 46 games.
Surgery for the injury in 2003 exacerbated the situation, forcing him to miss the entire 2003-04 season.