Grant Hill was one of the best basketball players in the world before injury curtailed his playing career.
After 15 years in the NBA, Hill just reached a major milestone -- he completed his first calendar year without missing a game. Quite a big deal, considering it appeared Hill was on the brink of retirement due to ankle injuries earlier in his career, playing in only 47 out of 264 games during a five-year period.
Perhaps no NBA player understands and appreciates the importance of healthy living and physical fitness than Hill, who went six for six in All-Star appearances with the Pistons and Magic before the injuries struck.
To commemorate NBA FIT Week, Hill, 37 (but who says he feels like 30), spoke with NBA.com's John Hareas and discussed how his approach to working out, diet and nutrition has evolved over the years and why it's important to him being an NBA FIT member.NBA.com: What did you learn during this time?
Grant Hill: Learning to listen to your body. Your body talks to you and you have to learn how to listen to it. When you're young and your ego is involved, you think you can overcome or override anything.
Also, understanding diet and nutrition and the role it plays and constantly trying figure out what's best and what works for me. I think diet plays an important role. Managing your body, little tricks, such as using ice, massage therapy, sleep, stretching, how you work out -- all of these things, you become smarter and you figure out sort of what works and what doesn't work.
I'm constantly trying to learn as much as I can. I don't feel like I know it all but I certainly have learned a great deal over the last five or six years.
NBA.com: How has your diet and food choices evolved over the years?
Grant Hill: I think early on you learn the importance of cutting out fast food. As you get older, you stay away from sugar and a lot of the sugary drinks and drink nothing but water. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, fish, occasionally chicken.
I think the thing for me is that it's not so much what works for everybody but what works for me. I think certainly there are some things that are consistent. I think a lot of the bad foods, the heavy foods, the fried foods, I think those are things everyone can learn from, stay away from or at least in moderation.
I don't pretend to know the answers necessarily or pretend to have the perfect diet but I know certain foods that are good for you or are healthy don't necessarily work well with me. I don't feel as good when I eat those foods. Everybody is different. Everybody reacts differently to different foods.