Rams memories live on for Angelo Hill

CLOSE ENCOUNTER: Canterbury's Angelo Hill (right) grapples with Ronnie Joyner during an NBL match in 1986.
CLOSE ENCOUNTER: Canterbury's Angelo Hill (right) grapples with Ronnie Joyner during an NBL match in 1986.

Angelo Hill has fond memories of the two seasons he spent with the Canterbury Rams national basketball league team in the mid-1980s, but was less happy about the training sessions the team endured.

Hill recalled yesterday the squad being "run to death" at Christchurch's Cowles Stadium where they trained under the strict regime of army man Garry Pettis.

However, Canterbury produced one of the fittest teams in the league of that era with the fast-break combination between fellow American import Clyde Huntley and Kiwis guard John Rademakers legendary.

Hill said he remains in touch with both, having had a round of golf with Rademakers and keeping regular contact with Huntley, who lives in Wellington. "It was a great team we had at that time with the likes of John Hill, Ian Webb, Andy Bennett and Bert Knops, who all played for New Zealand, and I enjoyed the people and my time there."

Hill reflected that many of the players of today's generation work nowhere near as hard as those of previous eras.

"In those days the players, apart from the imports, had proper jobs and worked their tails off.

"Nowadays there seems to be a different mindset and the players have more time to train but not always at the level they need to."

Hill did not believe the league level of talent from top to bottom was as high as in the 1980s.

Hill also believed there was a big discrepancy in the wage bills between the front-running teams on the ladder and those struggling in the lower reaches.

"There's a difference between the have and have nots in the league and it shows in the table."

The Press