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Oakland's Xavier Hill-Mais follows unusual path to success

Posted at 2:46 PM, Dec 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-14 14:47:38-05

His whole basketball career, Xavier Hill-Mais knew his role.

“I’ve never really been the guy who scored the ball, never been the guy to really get that many touches, I’ve always been the ‘Hey X, go get a rebound, go get a steal, get a blocked shot, that type of guy,” Oakland redshirt junior Xavier Hill-Mais said.

But now that’s all changed.

“He’s as good a college scorer as their is in the country inside-out right now, I don’t care what level,” associate head coach Dan Hipsher stated.

Hill-Mais and head coach Greg Kampe came to the agreement that Xavier would redshirt after playing his first two seasons. It’s an odd route, but one that turned out to be extremely beneficial for both parties.

“I didn’t know he’d average 25 a game but I knew that he was really good,” head coach Greg Kampe said.

“We couldn’t guard him in practice, he was getting better and better and better, and without the pressure of games he started dominating practices and everybody knew.”

One of the aspects of Xavier’s development is of course this gym, but when his team was off playing he was left behind, with no where else to go.

“Twenty five percent of that year I was redshirted I was in here probably, sometimes twice a day, just getting it in shooting” Hill-Mais recalled.

“His dedication of getting in the gym and doing all the things and put on top of that he’s a great student and a great kid, he’s all those things away from the court that you want from a player and he’s a great story, he’s turned himself into one heck of a basketball player,” Kampe added.

Hill-Mais is 8th in the country in scoring at the division 1 level and hopes he and his team can punch their ticket to the big dance this March.