Buzz Williams recorded win No. 100 at Virginia Tech in the Hokies’ 67-58 victory over Liberty to advance to the Sweet 16. Ahmed Hill played a key role in that win by scoring 14 points, including a pair of big three-pointers just before and just after halftime. Hill has played a big role in Williams’ other 99 victories in Blacksburg as well.
Many good players have helped Buzz Williams reach the 100-win milestone at Virginia Tech. Some, such as Seth Allen, Zach LeDay and Justin Bibbs, have already departed. Some are still with the team and hope to help Williams pick up his 101st win on Friday night. But only one of them has been part of all 100 victories, and that’s Ahmed Hill.
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Hill was one of the nation’s top 75 prospects coming out of Aquinas High School in Augusta, GA. He committed to Williams at Marquette on October 12, 2013 over a host of high-major offers, including Florida State, Clemson, Indiana, Missouri, NC State, Tennessee, Texas, Villanova, Florida, UConn, and others. Like every recruit who commits and signs in the early signing period, he assumed his future was secure.
That changed on March 21, 2014 when Buzz Williams accepted the head coaching job at Virginia Tech. Like everyone else would be in the same situation, Hill was confused at first. He found out Williams was going to Virginia Tech while he was getting ready for his Senior Prom.
“It was my birthday, as a matter of fact,” Hill told TSL in a one-on-one interview back in March of 2016. “He called me and said, ‘Ahmed, I’m taking the job at Virginia Tech, and we’d love to have you. I want you to help us build this thing the right way.’”
Williams immediately made it clear that Hill was welcome to join his new team in Blacksburg. He quickly took a visit to Virginia Tech and committed on April 19. Hill had known Williams since he was a sophomore in high school, and it turned out to be an easy decision.
“He told me to call him back after prom, but I already knew by the time I hung up the phone that I was going to be here (at Virginia Tech) with him because I didn’t have any relationships with other coaches like that.”
The relationship has remained strong, and it has helped the Hokies to a lot of wins. Only 11 of their 100 wins together came in that first season, however. Things were rough in Blacksburg that year, as transfers Seth Allen and Zach LeDay had to sit out, and Justin Robinson, Kerry Blackshear and Chris Clarke were finishing their senior seasons of high school. Hill started 30 of 33 games as a true freshman that year, averaging 8.7 points per game.
The Hokies got better in year two of the Buzz Williams era, making the NIT after a strong late-season surge. However, Hill had to watch it from the bench as he redshirted that year due to injury. He would return the following season as a redshirt sophomore, and as far as our research can find, he and fellow senior Justin Robinson are the only three Virginia Tech players to play in three different NCAA Tournaments for the Hokies.
Ahmed Hill developed into a solid player for the Hokies, scoring 1,458 points. That ranks 18th all-time in Virginia Tech history. However, his career at Virginia Tech has been about so much more than points.
“He’s our engine on both ends of the floor,” Kerry Blackshear said after Tech’s win over Liberty.
His positive attitude on a day-to-day basis and his energy level on the court make him the perfect fit for Buzz Williams. In those ways, he’s an extension of Williams when he’s on the floor, and he’s the embodiment of what Williams wants his program to be about.
Though 100 wins is a great accomplishment over the course of the last five seasons, neither man wants the run to end. They’ll be looking to pick up win No. 101 on Friday night against the Duke Blue Devils.
“Buzz has meant a lot to me, more of a father figure than kind of a basketball coach,” Hill said on Friday in Washington, DC. “I’m just very appreciative of those 100 wins and everything that has transpired in my five years.”