Anaconda's Braxton Hill committed to play college football with the Montana Grizzlies on Jan. 24. (BLAKE HEMPSTEAD/Copperhead Country)

ANACONDA — It was a move 18 years in the making.

Anaconda football and basketball star Braxton Hill announced on Wednesday that he would be committing to play football for the University of Montana. The Grizzlies have long been a fixture in his life, as his sister Torry played basketball in Missoula.

“Being a Griz fan all my life — going to all the games — it’s really cool,” Braxton Hill said. “I always wanted to be a Grizzly growing up, and it’s really cool. I’m excited to carry on the tradition.”

Hill played both quarterback and linebacker for the Copperheads, but is expected to play linebacker at the next level. He played just one game at 100 percent in his senior season, as he tore his labrum at the beginning of the team’s second game. It’s an injury that had him worrying if he would be able to fulfill his Division I dream.

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“When I first hurt my shoulder, I was really worried about where I was going to go (and) what coaches were going to stop talking to me,” Hill said.

But the Grizzlies never gave up on him.

“They really just kept talking to me and they were really nice about what I did to my shoulder,” he added.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound athlete returned to the field just a few weeks after injuring his shoulder and has continued to play through the pain into basketball season. Hill is currently 50 points away from breaking the school’s all-time boys basketball scoring record.

Montana is granting Hill a grayshirt, meaning that when he enrolls in 2019, he will still have a full five years of eligibility remaining when he is fully recovered from surgery.

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