George Hill has been in the NBA for quite some time now. The veteran point guard has been playing in the league for quite some time now and has found success in the league throughout his career.
Hill joined the NBA in 2008 when he was 22 years old, after a 4-year stint in college. Since then, Hill has bounced around to several teams, including the San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Hill was let go by the Bucks last season, but bounced around and returned to the franchise during this offseason. Unfortunately, this did mean that he missed out on the Bucks' NBA championship win.
The closest Hill has come to winning an NBA championship is in 2018, when he was part of the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers. But the Cavs got swept in 4 games by the Golden State Warriors. And over the next few years left of his career, he will want to win an NBA championship before he retires.
In an interview with ESPN, Hill revealed that he purchased a massive piece of land which he turned into a ranch in 2017, as an act for his birthday. Hill noted that this is his plan for retirement, and spoke about all the animals that he has at the ranch.
Between games, he scans the land for the silhouettes of his animals -- kangaroos, wildebeests, donkeys, elk, antelope and six zebras, among others.
"I am mainly on African safari stuff."
Hill, 34 and envisioning life after basketball, is pouring his time away from the court into learning more about animal care, overseeing projects -- expanding a lake and building a "barndominium" are currently underway -- and watching over his vast, 850-acre ranch and its exotic residents.
In August 2017, he purchased the massive plot of land here in Texas Hill Country, a 35-minute drive north of his family's offseason home in San Antonio. Over time, the property has been bulldozed, sculpted and preened into a sprawling ranch.
Normally an offseason retreat, the ranch has become a getaway during the league's coronavirus suspension. Soon after the announcement that games would be put on hold on March 11, Hill, his wife, Samantha, and their 4-year-old son, Zayden, and 2-year-old daughter, Zoe, flew to Texas from Milwaukee.
"I just think it's cool for my kids to see. And for them to have something different. Everyone has a dog or a cat. ... I just choose other animals."
He had wanted a place like this for years. When Hill played for the Indiana Pacers in the mid-2010s, he would talk to friend and teammate C.J. Miles about his dream. - "He was a country boy even back in his Indiana days. I knew it was a matter of time before he found somewhere he could disappear to."
And while Hill explains the efforts he takes to be a responsible hunter -- hiring experts and guides to identify which animals are aging and approved to kill, purchasing appropriate hunting permits and harvesting the animal's meat so that his kills are functional -- his social media followers have varied reactions to his hunting-related posts.
Mixed into the congratulatory comments -- "nice kill brother" and "glad to see some hunting content back on your page" -- are people calling him "cruel," "disgusting" and telling him to "shoot baskets not animals."
"I don't really pay that no attention," Hill says. "Most people that always have something against hunting are the same ones that go out to a restaurant to eat a steak or order a burger. So I always say, if you really see all those animals [get] to your plate, you'd probably think differently about hunters.
"If you're hunting just to kill s---, you have a problem."
"You're already 100 acres from another person. Everything you do, you have to take an ATV or truck"
Eventually, this is where Hill wants to retire. "You are starting to see how it will all come together," he says.
Four other employees are in charge of the animals, making sure the feeders and water troughs are full and the animals are healthy.
Hill is taking in all the knowledge he can.
"I am just going from job to job, talking to them, asking them if I can help do things so I can learn,"
"I feel like there is so much negative s--- going in the world, man. So, I always try to think positive. Like, man, this is just preparing myself for retirement."
"If this is what retirement looks like, this is better than I thought."
Hill is in the final years of his career, and at age 35, he doesn't have much time left in the NBA. And he has been planning for retirement.
One of the parts of his retirement plan included acquiring a massive 850-acre ranch in Texas. So far, his work on that ranch is looking good, and retirement will feel a little easier when the ranch is what he is coming home to.