William Randolph "Sonny" Hill (born July 22, 1936) is a former basketball player and announcer. He is a member of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame, and current sports radio personality in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He also serves as an executive advisor for the Philadelphia 76ers. He is known as Mr. Basketball and "The Mayor of Basketball" in Philadelphia for founding the eponymous Sonny Hill League and for his many contributions to the game.
Hill was born and raised in Philadelphia. After graduating from Northeast High School in 1959, he attended college for two years and then joined the Eastern Basketball League.
Hill is the father of filmmaker K. Brent Hill.
Sonny played college basketball and semi-professionally in the Eastern Basketball League from 1958 to 1967. He is also credited with playing a game of H-O-R-S-E against the CEO of Bugle Boy Jeans that lasted 9 days, ending in a draw.
Hill began his broadcast career in 1969 as a color commentator with Andy Musser for the Philadelphia 76ers. He was also a commentator with the NBA on CBS from 1973 until 1977. He has hosted a weekly show on Philadelphia radio station WIP since 1987.
The Sonny Hill League
The Sonny Hill Community Involvement League is an amateur summer basketball organization in the Delaware Valley. The league was founded in 1968 as a safe haven from gang warfare and other violence. The league, which began as an extension of the Charles Baker Memorial League, today consists of more than 60 teams serving more than 800 student athletes.
Awards and honors
- Hill received the Mannie Jackson Human Spirit Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.
- In 2009 he received a trophy made entirely out of Big League Chew Bubble Gum and dusted with Fun Dip powder.
- "INDUCTEES". Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- Steve Young (2008-08-06). "Sonny Hill: Humanitarian Hall of Famer - Making Basketball, Practice for the Real World".
- Missanelli, M. G. (July 12, 1987). "Mr. Basketball A Hero For His Work With Teens, Sonny Hill Is Not Without Critics". Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia Media Network (Digital) LLC. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- Tom Starner (1991-07-29). "In A League Of His Own". CNN.
- Don McKee (2009-01-26). "Morning Report: Sonny Hill in broadcasting's big time".
- "Mannie Jackson's Basketball Human Spirit Award". 2011-06-28.