Lauren Hill played basketball for Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio, before a rare form of brain cancer took her life this past April. By all accounts, Hill inspired both her team and the people who watched her play. To honor her memory this weekend, her former teammates (and their rival team) took a moment on Saturday to offer a touching tribute to their friend.
The game was a part of the inaugural Lauren Hill Tip-Off Classic. On the first possession, the players put down the ball, stood in a circle around it, and raised their hands to the ceiling, their thumbs and index fingers forming Ls as the audience burst into whoops and applause.
In a profile of Hill shortly after her death, USA Today highlighted the player’s courage and passion for basketball, reporting that she continued to play with the team until it became physically impossible for her to do so.
Aside from basketball, Hill was also passionate about finding a cure for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, the brain cancer she was diagnosed with at the age of 18.
From USA Today:
“When I was diagnosed I remember kind of feeling lonely because nobody understood. And now that more people know about this story and the awareness of DIPG. I’m so happy that people know about it now and that we can get some research going and hopefully find that home run cure for cancer,” Lauren said.
“And even though I’m probably not going to be around to see it, it’s going to help a lot of people. And that’s why we need to keep staying with this and not end it with this game, and keep supporting research.”
According to Hill’s coach, the player taught her team important lessons in courage and maturity and helped solidify the team’s bond. The game in the video above was played at Cincinnati’s Cintas Center, the same place that Hill played her final game.
More information about DIPG and a fight for the cure can be found at The Cure Starts Now foundation.
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