Lauren Hill: An Athlete who Embodies the Spirit of a Champion
3 years ago
On Friday, April 10th Lauren Hill, an athlete who embodies what it means to be a champion, passed away. Hill was a tall, athletic basketball player who loved the competitive and challenging nature of the game. Hill played each game with the motto, “never give up”, and lived by that motto too.
As a senior in high school, Hill committed to the Mount St. Joseph's women's basketball team. Forty-nine days after committing, she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor called a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.
Despite her illness and the seeming impossibility of playing basketball at the collegiate level, Hill continued to practice with the Mount St. Joseph’s team.
All of Hill’s practice paid off when the NCAA moved up Mount St. Joseph's opening game two weeks so Hill was healthy enough to play. On November 2nd, 2014, Hill played against Hiram College in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,250 in the Xavier University Cintas Center. Mount St. Joseph defeated Hiram College 66-55, with Hill scoring the first and last points of the night.
Hill’s strength and fight stretched beyond her November 2nd baskets. As an advocate of change and advancement in the cancer community, Hill has raised more than $1.6 million for the Cure Start Now Foundation, which was founded by the mother of Elena Desserich, a little girl who died eight years ago from the same brain cancer as Hill.
Hill’s kindness, determination and love for the game made her an inspiration to many on and off the basketball court. Twitter user Just_AP perfectly said, “The greatest accomplishment we can achieve as humans is to inspire many. Lauren Hill did that.”
A memorial service was held for Hill on Monday, April 13th, at the Xavier University Cintas Center, where she had her collegiate basketball debut.
Hill’s gratitude, humility and “never give up attitude” embody what Connor Sport Court believes is a true champion. Connor Sport Court hopes that every player who steps on the Xavier University Cintas Center court remembers it’s where a champion played.