Dying Player Fulfills Dream
Lauren Hill loves basketball and has always dreamed of playing college basketball. Last year she found out she has inoperable brain cancer. In September, doctors told her she only had a few months to live. As her condition worsened, the possibility of her playing in even one game became more difficult. That’s when her school, Division III Mount St. Joseph’s asked the NCAA if they would allow their opening game against Hiram College to be moved up two weeks in hopes that Lauren would be healthy enough to play. The NCAA agreed and that game was held on Sunday.
Usually about 100 people attend women’s basketball games at the small school, but Lauren’s story became so well known that the game had to be moved to a larger arena in Cincinnati (Xavier University) which could accommodate the 10,000 people that wanted to buy a ticket to watch her play. Proceeds from Sunday’s sold-out game went to support her charity called The Cure Starts Now (TCSN) which raises money to help fight pediatric brain cancer.
As the game began, it was fitting that Lauren scored the first basket on a layup. The crowd and both teams gave her a standing ovation. Lauren spent most of the game on the bench because the physical toll of the medicine and the tumor are just too much for her. She did come back into the game in the final minute and scored another layup.
Afterwards, Lauren said it was one of the best days of her life. She fulfilled her dream of playing in a college basketball game. And while Lauren’s life is nearing its end, her legacy will live on forever.