This Sunday was bittersweet for Lauren Hill, a freshman at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, who played her first and final college basketball game. Hill has a rare form of brain cancer called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), which is currently incurable.
In an effort between her coach, the opposing team’s coach and the NCAA, St, Joseph’s first game of the season was moved up two weeks... all so Hill was able to play, and score the first official basket of the NCAA season.
Hill was diagnosed with DIPG in November of 2013, shortly after she had signed with Mount St. Joseph’s. The cancer is typically only seen in children aged between 5 and 7 and has a 0 percent survival rate. Since sharing her story, Hill has a received an outpouring of support from the basketball community.
Mount St. Joseph’s game against Hiram College had to be moved to Xavier University’s basketball arena in order to accommodate the estimated 10,000 people that came to see Hill play. Live streaming video of the game on local websites crashed from the amount of views. On social media, the hashtag #1More4Lauren accompanied well wishes for Hill from around the world.
During halftime, Hill was recognized for her bravery during her cancel battle and was awarded the Pat Summit Most Courageous Award, The awards are ordinarily given at the end of the season, but the USBWA board of directors voted unanimously to honor Hill now.
Hill told ESPNW that she hopes the attention she’s bringing to DIPG will help make progress in the research and treatment of it. Saying that she plans to grant interview and photo shoots until she is too weak to speak. Hill has also started the organization Layup 4 Lauren to raise money for the cure starts now foundation.
Hill’s only college game ended the same way it started, with Hill making the final basket. Mount St. Joseph’s won the game 66-55.