ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 28, 2023) — For Tamia and Grant Hill, joining Orlando City SC and Orlando Pride is more than just an investment. It's an opportunity to give back to the Orlando community that has been their home for the last two decades.
Twenty-three years ago, Grant Hill was traded from the Detroit Pistons to the Orlando Magic, a career move that first introduced him to the City Beautiful. After just getting married to Grammy nominee Tamia a year prior, the two quickly grew their roots in Orlando, beginning and raising their family. The Hills spent seven years after the new millennium living in Orlando, where Grant played for the Magic, before continuing his NBA career in Phoenix.
"We were pretty young, we were still in our 20s when we moved down here," Grant Hill said last week to OrlandoCitySC.com. "We would go to other cities and travel with our work, but we're always so happy to come back to Orlando. It's not just the weather, but it's the people, the lifestyle, the energy. There's a real spirit here that's fun to be a part of."
Both of the younger Hills, Myla and Lael, played soccer growing up in and around Orlando, and so, it was their kids that got Tamia and Grant Hill involved in the sport in the first place. Around the same time, the Pride began their journey as a franchise in the NWSL.
"That just got us interested in the game," Tamia Hill said. "We wanted to come to games to show her what it was like and obviously watching the Pride and them seeing the ladies playing, we just had a great time."
"We became huge fans," Grant Hill added. "Through the Pride, we were introduced to Orlando City."
That introduction into the MLS team eventually led to another important introduction, meeting Orlando City and Pride Chairman & Owner Mark Wilf. Both the Hills and Wilfs boxes are right next to each other in Exploria Stadium, making for a fairly organic encounter between the two. It took less than a year from that first meeting for the conversation to grow from general pleasantries into a potential investment opportunity with the club.
"They understand what it takes to be successful and they're gonna apply that here to both of these franchises," Grant Hill said. "We're fans first and foremost, but to be able to be part of the mission here and certainly the ownership group is a big thrill for us. And we're excited. We're soccer junkies, and we look forward to helping both franchises reach the goal of winning championships. That's what it's all about.
"For us, we understand our platforms in sports and music, so to be able to give back, to support those that need it. We've enjoyed being part of the community in a number of different fashions, and we enjoy being attached to a sports franchise. The beauty of sports is that it brings the community together. People from different walks of life, different people, find common ground cheering for the Pride and for Orlando City. So I think sports play a big role in bringing people together and using the platform of Orlando City and Orlando Pride to continue our efforts and making a difference here."