Hill wins NBA's sportsmanship award

Grant Hill

The NBA announced Monday that Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill is the 2009-2010 recipient of the Joe Dumars Trophy, which is presented yearly to the league’s Sportsmanship Award winner.

The award is the 15-year veteran’s third such award, making him the first three-time winner in the award’s history; he’s also the only player to win it twice. Hill, who has played for three teams in his career, also won the award for the 2004-2005 and 2007-2008 seasons.

“He’s the best human being I’ve ever been around in my life,” Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said before Monday’s Game 5. “I don’t know of a better person. I’ve coached David Robinson, and he’s probably close, but just the overall guy I don’t know if there’s a better guy. I just think he’s a terrific human being.”

The award was voted on by NBA players for the sixth consecutive year, with designated point values assigned to votes for first place through sixth place. In a press release Monday, the league described the criteria for the award:

The annual award reflects the ideals of sportsmanship — ethical behavior, fair play and integrity — in amateur and professional basketball, a key focus of the league’s NBA Cares program efforts. The trophy is named for former Detroit Pistons guard and Hall of Famer Joe Dumars, the award’s first recipient.

Hill, who played with Dumars in Detroit, finished with a total of 2485 points from votes, followed by Denver’s Chauncey Billups (2155), Boston’s Ray Allen (1983), Cleveland’s Antawn Jamison (1905), Atlanta’s Al Horford (1487) and Houston’s Luis Scola (1325). Hill received 96 first-place votes and Billups, who won the award last year, received 79.

The NBA also announced it will make a $10,000 donation to the WellCare Foundation on Hill’s behalf and $5,000 donations on behalf of the rest of the players, who were divisional winners.

Michael Schwartz contributed reporting.

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