Naz Hillmon is still making her mark on Michigan basketball.
Though overshadowed by the No. 9 Michigan women’s basketball team’s double-overtime loss to Northwestern on Sunday, the senior forward compiled a record-breaking performance.
Hillmon scored her 2000th point against the Wildcats — joining just three other Wolverines to ever do so in their Michigan basketball careers.
Notching 15 points and 12 rebounds, Hillmon also recorded her 45th career double-double, officially taking over the Michigan women’s basketball double-double record.
“She’s an incredible player inside our program,” Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico said. “She’s just an incredible person and I just think it speaks volumes to her career here at the University of Michigan.”
Since joining the Wolverines, Hillmon’s presence has been instrumental in the program-wide change that Barnes Arico has instituted across her 10 years in Ann Arbor. Ranked No. 58 in the 2018 recruiting class and a four-star recruit, Hillmon’s commitment to Michigan was a measure of the success the program had begun to amass under Barnes Arico’s reign.
Now, guided by Hillmon’s leadership, the Wolverines are hitting new heights. Whether it be her 50-point game, the best start in program history or the furthest Michigan run in the NCAA Tournament to the Sweet 16, Hillmon has continued to help the Wolverines level up, breaking personal and team records along the way.
This season, Hillmon has continued the trend. She’s started every game but one due to COVID-19 protocols and leads the team points, field goals, free throws and rebounds. Averaging 20.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, Michigan’s offense runs through Hillmon.
Opposing teams’ entire defensive schemes revolve around stopping Hillmon in the paint, yet she manages to find her groove every game. Working with fellow senior forward Emily Kiser, Hillmon has brought the Wolverines’ post play to another level.
With the regular season drawing to a close, Hillmon has an opportunity to lead Michigan to a Big Ten title and another deep run in the NCAA Tournament. If the Wolverines are to improve upon last year’s historic season, Hillmon will be at the forefront of any and all success.
As she closes out her final season with the Wolverines, Hillmon has not only impacted the women’s game — but all of basketball.
Barnes Arico said it best:
“She is certainly leaving her legacy.”