Zi’Yon name

Zi’Yon Hill-Green (center) with stepfather Chris Green and Eric Haik 

For Chris Green, Father’s Day 2022 was shaping up to be similar to all of the others. What he didn’t know was that his stepson, Zi’Yon Hill, would be giving him a gift that was a lifetime in the making.

“I was trying to come up with a Father’s Day gift and was thinking hard,” Zi’Yon said. “I came to the conclusion, me and my mom, that it was time to change my last name. I feel like it was time to take the next big step. (Eric) Haik reached out and helped me tremendously with the whole process, I can’t thank him enough.”

When Zi’Yon takes the field for the Ragin’ Cajuns this year, he will be proudly sporting the name Hill-Green across his back. Zi’Yon said that the gift was the least he could do to honor the man who has always been by his side.

“My stepdad has been raising me since I was 1 year old, so it’s the least I can do to try to pay him back and change my last name.”

Chris said that he never expected to Zi’Yon with his last name, and that the surprise was one of the best in his life.

“It’s the best feeling ever,” Chris explained. “ I haven’t had a feeling like that in my whole entire life. I’ll be 41 years old on Wednesday and that’s the best feeling ever. When the announcer says “Zi’Yon Hill-Green!” I’m probably going to cry, no lie. They tried to get me to do it a long time ago, but now, I deserve it and he deserves it, to be a Green.”

Eric Haik, who signed Zi’Yon to the area’s first NIL deal recently, said that the name change began as a way to honor a man that he has known for years.

“Honestly, this had nothing to do with the NIL deal,” Haik said. “These guys are just family to me; I’ve been knowing Zi’Yon a long time and have been sitting in the stands with Chris for years. This probably started before we even talked about doing the NIL deal with Zi’Yon, and it all kind of culminated at the same time. Zi’Yon deserves this but more so, Chris deserves this. Chris is a phenomenal father. I see him at every event wearing his heart on his sleeve for his kids and I respect that because I feel like I’m the same way. He and I sit together and talk a lot at games and this couldn’t have happened to a better guy or a better family.”

Haik said that the name change process was easy, but wanted to thank the judge who made it all happen.

“I have to give a shoutout to Judge Roger Hamilton. I drafted all the documents to petition the name change. It’s not a complicated process, you have to get with the court for them to approve the name change and you have to qualify, which Zi’Yon did. We met Judge Hamilton one day for court and he graciously allowed us to officially change Zi’Yon’s name to Zi’Yon Hill-Green.