Lauren Hill

Xavier, Mount St. Joseph to launch the ‘Lauren Hill Tip-Off Classic’

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source: AP
AP

We needed a story like this today.

Xavier and Mount St. Joseph announced on Wednesday that the two schools will honor the memory of the late-Lauren Hill by launching the ‘Lauren Hill Tip-Off Classic’.

The event is a double-header that will be held annually to kick-off the season for the women’s basketball teams for both Xavier and Mount St. Joseph. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 14th, at the Cintas Center, Xavier’s home arena. Xavier will play Evansville while Mount St. Joseph, a Division III program, will play Hiram College.

Hill was a freshman on the Mount St. Joseph team last season despite the fact that she was battling a terminal form of brain cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG. She tragically passed away in April, but not before her fight, and the publicity it generated, raised $1.8 million for a foundation called ‘The Cure Starts Now‘, a non-profit charity that aids the fight against pediatric cancer.

Proceeds from the Lauren Hill Tip-Off Classic will be donated to The Cure Starts Now.

Hill’s story went viral last fall, when the NCAA allowed Mount St. Joseph to play their season-opener — also against Hiram College — two weeks early. It was Hill’s dream to play college basketball, and no one was sure whether or not she would be able to after waiting two more weeks.

She scored four points in that game against Hiram. And she went on to play in three more games, finishing her career with 10 points.

“A year ago, I, like many, watched one of the most unselfish players take the floor for her first college basketball game,” said Hill’s coach, Dan Benjamin. “As I think back, what an amazing player, person and teammate Lauren Hill was! On Nov. 14, we will continue her legacy and honor her for everything she stood for! Love you No. 22 and miss you! Help all of us to roar loud and continue your mission.”

Lauren Hill’s fundraising efforts for cancer research surpasses $1 million

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Lauren Hill has reached her goal of raising $1 million for cancer research.

In fact, she blew right past it.

After hosting a telethon for The Cure Starts Now on Tuesday, Hill’s fundraising efforts reached $1,159,374 after two short months.

Hill’s story is as tragic as it is viral. Prior to her senior season in high school, Hill, a women’s basketball player, discovered that she had a terminal form of brain cancer known as DIPG. Hill, who had planned on playing her college ball at Mount St. Joseph, still attended the school this past semester, playing in four games and scoring 10 points.

Hill’s health has deteriorated to the point that she is no longer enrolled in school, and thus no longer playing playing. She is still affiliated with the team, however, helping to coach the program this season.

You can donate to DIPG research by clicking here.

Lauren Hill’s playing career over, to become honorary coach

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Lauren Hill’s playing career with the Mt. St. Joseph basketball team has come to an end, her family announced on their Facebook page.

It ended Tuesday night, when she played and scored in a game against Wooster.

“She stepped onto the court one last time in her college career and again fought the odds and made a basket that brought everyone in the gym to their feet,” the family said. “At the end of the game, she accepted a donation from Wooster toward her $1 million goal. It was incredible to see her continue to show such resolve and determination and continue to play strong both on the court and in life.”

Hill will not be returning to school next semester, her collegiate career coming to a close having scored five times in four games. She’ll still be part of the team for as long as she is up to it, working as an honorary assistant coach, head coach Dan Benjamin announced.

“On behalf of Lauren Hill, her family, Mount St. Joseph University and our Women’s basketball program we would like to thank the NCAA for everything they have done in granting and making Lauren’s dream of playing college basketball come true!” he said in a statement to the media.

“At this time it is Lauren’s wish to remain on as a Honorary Coach!”

Perhaps most importantly, Hill will continue on her crusade against Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, the cancer currently ravaging her brain. She wants to reach her goal of raising $1 million for DIPG research, and according to this Paul Daugherty column, she’s more than halfway there already.

If you’d like to donate, you can do that here.

Lauren Hill starts, scores for the first time in front of home crowd on Saturday (VIDEO)

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During her courageous battle with terminal brain cancer, Mount St. Joseph freshman Lauren Hill has raised a lot of awareness for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, the rare brain cancer that she is fighting, through basketball.

After playing at Xavier on Nov. 2 and scoring her first basket, and surprising teammates and fans by appearing in a Nov. 21 tournament game and scoring again, Hill hoped to take the floor for a home game on Saturday.

“She’s going to dress and see what happens,” her coach, Dan Benjamin, said Friday night. “If she can get a basket on her home floor, that’s what we want her to do.”

Well, Hill surprised again as she started and scored in her third college game on Saturday against Franklin College. Here’s video of Hill’s basket, courtesy of Fox 19:

Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Sad news: Lauren Hill signs up for hospice care

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Lauren Hill has signed up for hospice care, the family announced on their Fight for the Cure facebook page on Wednesday morning.

“We are excited to have additional resources coming to our home,” the post said. “We have already been able to get supplies to help make things easier here at home.”

This move was planned to happen in October, but the timeline was pushed back as Lauren’s big game, the one played at the Cintas Center, was moved forward. It turns out she’s been strong enough to play in games since then as well.

Lauren is battling an inoperable and terminal form of brain cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontene Glioma, or DIPG. The reason that Lauren has made her battle so public is that she is trying to raise awareness — and raise money — to help find a cure.

You can donate here.

Lauren Hill surprises teammates, fans with another layup in her second college game (VIDEO)

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Lauren Hill has been a tremendous inspiration across America these last few weeks, as the Mount St. Joseph freshman continues her battle against a rare and inoperable form of brain cancer. On November 2nd, Hill drew national attention, and 10,000 fans at Xavier, as they watched her make a layup in her first career college basketball game.

Thankfully, that game wouldn’t be her last.

According to report from Tim Warsinskey of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Hill was expected to join her Mount St. Joseph teammates on the bench on Friday, and potentially even dress in her uniform, but a weakened state had left her unable to practice since her November 2nd college basketball debut. Hill drove with her family nearly four hours from Lawrenceburg, Ind. to join Mount St. Joseph as they played Bethany College at the Baldwin Wallace Invitational.

But Hill fought through the weakened state, defied the odds and showed her courageous spirit once again, as she built up enough energy to check into the game with 8:06 remaining in the second half and Mount St. Joseph trailing by 14. On her first possession, Hill took a pass from a teammate on the left block and scored with her right hand over a Bethany College defender who gave her some space and the basket made it a 56-44 deficit with 7:47 to play.

Timeout was immediately called as teammates mobbed Hill and walked her to the bench as the crowd of 322 at Baldwin Wallace’s Ursprung Gymnasium gave her a rousing standing ovation. The basket marked Hill’s third career college field goal and goes down as another incredible moment in her fight against cancer. Mount St. Joseph mounted a bit of a comeback and made it close but ultimately fell, 69-64, to Bethany College.

For Hill to muster up energy for another game is truly remarkable. She had to endure a four-hour drive, but she still dressed in full uniform and wore white-rimmed dark sunglasses and ear protection on the bench due to her growing sensitivity to light and sound.

Hill kept bugging her head coach, Dan Benjamin, to give her a chance to play and the coach allowed her to play when she started to become weak by the second half.

“It was nerve-wracking,” Benjamin said to the Plain Dealer. “I talked to her mom and dad this morning and she wasn’t feeling very well. We weren’t sure what she was going to do. She hasn’t practiced in two weeks and I was nervous about putting her in and her getting hurt.

“But she was on the bench saying, ‘Coach, I’m starting to fade. I’m draining,’ and I said I’m putting her in. My staff was like, ‘No, we’re in this game.’ I said, ‘I don’t care. It’s not about the game.’ It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made.”

Hill and her family politely refused comment after the game as they returned home to Indiana. If this does end up being Hill’s final game, it was a great surprise and a thrill to see her earn a little more playing time and score once again. Knowing her toughness and resolve, Hill certainly isn’t going to back down from her fight.

The #Layup4Lauren initiative has seen basketball players and fans from coast-to-coast joining the cause and raising money and awareness to fight diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), the rare cancer that Lauren is fighting. According to Warsinskey’s report, the #Layup4Lauren campaign has raised more than $324,000 so far.

(Video credit: Cleveland Plain Dealer)