Jimmy V Classic holds special significance for Hill

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  • Illinois’ Malcolm Hill attempts a contested shot during the game against American at State Farm Center on Saturday. Tuesday night’s Jimmy V Classic will have special meaning for Hill, who lost a friend to cancer in high school. 

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Every year, the Jimmy V Classic takes on a little extra meaning in the world of sports. Named in honor of legendary college basketball coach Jim Valvano, the Classic raises millions of dollars for cancer research each year. Valvano died of cancer in 1993. 

Illinois faces Villanova on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden as part of the Jimmy V Classic, and the game will have a special significance for sophomore Malcolm Hill of the Illini. Last spring, The Daily Illini wrote of Hill and his bond with high school friend Jeremiah Radford, who died of cancer in 2012. 

Hill now wears No. 21 to commemorate his late friend, who wore 21 as his high school football jersey number. It was Radford’s dream to play football at the University of Illinois. 

“It means a lot to be a part of the Jimmy V game because I’ve been watching this event my whole life and to be a part of it is special,” Hill said. “Since I had a friend that passed to cancer I can relate to what the event means to people.”

Alex is a junior in AHS. He can be reached at [email protected] and @aroux94.