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Troy Hill’s amazing journey from Youngstown, Ohio to the Cleveland Browns – The Athletic

Troy Hill’s ticket to a better life — and possibly the one that could save his life — went unused the first time around.Feeling a little like he’d been duped by his family, but largely that he wasn’t ready to leave the only place he’d ever known at the age of 15, Hill skipped his one-way flight from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles and instead stayed out all night on the streets of the south end of Pittsburgh.
He wasn’t thinking about the NFL at the moment, mostly because he wasn’t thinking about anything other than the next night’s game.
Hill wasn’t academically able to play high school football one year after starting at Chaney High School, and he wasn’t coming to school at all most days.”When I did go,” Hill recalled, “I was generally asleep in class.” Hill’s mother, Sandra Jennings, felt her son needed a change, so she requested her brother, Jim Gilmer, to take Troy away from the house she shared with her mother and move him to California.
In the early 1970s, Gilmer departed Youngstown for the military, eventually settling in Southern California.
Hill had previously aided family members by housing them for a few weeks or even months, and when he learned that his mother and uncle were planning a longer-term arrangement, he purposefully missed the flight.He wasnt going anywhere, which was exactly the problem at the time and now makes his story all the more extraordinary.
Hill has had no qualms about revealing any aspect of his experience, from high school to college to now, as he prepares to begin his seventh NFL season.