Blazers' Steven Hill reminisces, discusses old Missouri home

Steven Hill was watching his Arkansas Razorbacks grind against Texas A&M Saturday when his agent called with news that the Blazers were interested in signing him.

“I missed a few snaps, but it was all good,” Hill said smiling.

Hill’s signing — assumed to be short-term although the details weren’t disclosed — came in response to Portland’s incessantly shrinking roster of big men, a trend Jeff Pendergraph perpetuated last Thursday when he tore tore his ACL in the second quarter vs. Utah. But true fans know this isn’t the first time the 7-footer has donned a Blazers jersey.

Two years ago, Hill, 24, became a fixture among summer league fans drawn to his shot-blocking ability and beard that resembled U.S. Open-quality rough. Meet the guy, and you’d think that type of fanfare would follow him wherever he goes, but Hill insists that’s not the case.

“It was very unique to Portland,” Hill said. “That was interesting. I had a nice full growth of the beard. I had fond memories.”

Hill went to high school in the city of Branson, Missouri, a town known for its bizarre tourism attractions, among other things.

Said Hill of his former hometown: “It’s got country music shows, but it’s Nashville, it’s more hillbilly. It’s a lot of tour buses, senior citizens and families.”

Hill ran some sets after practice to better familiarize himself with the offense, but the prospect of him seeing floor time tonight is dubious.

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