Most teams don’t hug after the first basket of the game, but Lauren Hill’s left-handed layup to open Mount St. Joseph’s season was worth the celebration.
Hill has inoperable brain cancer, and doctors have told her she has just a few months to live, according to ESPN. So the NCAA moved up Mount St. Joseph’s Division III basketball game against Hiram College two weeks to allow Hill, a 19-year-old freshman, to play. The game also was moved to Xavier University’s Cintas Center in Cincinnati to accommodate 10,000 fans.
After Hill scored 17 seconds into the game, both teams and the entire crowd gave her a standing ovation and chanted her name. Hill also played the final 26 seconds of the game and scored again, ESPN reported, giving her four points.
At halftime, former Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt presented Hill with the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award, and a $5,000 donation was made to the The Cure Starts Now, a cancer research foundation, by the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever.
Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still, whose daughter is fighting cancer, also honored Hill during Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars by writing “Lauren Strong” on his eye black.
Photo via Twitter/@NCAA
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