TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

April 15, 2015 — Lauren Hill, 1995-2015

They memorialized Lauren Hill yesterday in the Cincinnati college arena where The Mount St. Joseph University opened its women’s basketball season last November against Hiram College.

Hill, who had an inoperble brain tumor, wanted to play basketball for her Division III college before the tumor grew enough to shut off body and brain functions. And that’s when the NCAA did something extraordinary. Instead of being the overarching overlord of college sports, the NCAA allowed the game to be played on Nov. 2, a full two weeks before the season was supposed to have begun.

Some 10,000 people came to Xavier University to cheer her and Mount St. Joseph on. Few cared that Mount would be embarking on a 6-19 season. All they wanted to do is witness Lauren Hill, the courageous first-year undergraduate student from nearby Lawrenceburg, Ind., reach her goal: score a basket.

I think she will be recognized and remembered for more than just basketball, or being an inspirational figure for raising money to fight pediatric cancer.

Instead, I think Hill’s greatest attribute is her dedication. She could have simply dressed for the team every game and stood on the floor for the center jump just so that her name could have appeared in the starting lineup. That’s happened on numerous occasions to allow seniors or players with injuries one final appearance, as thanks for their service to the program.

This was different. Hill’s brain tumor affected the right side of her body and her dominant hand. She made her first bucket with her left hand, one which she had to strengthen and develop during practice because of her weakening right side.

But towards the end of the Hiram game, she made a basket with her right hand. The crowd was thrilled.

Many of those same supporters came together yesterday in that same basketball arena, only to celebrate a well-lived life, one which saw Hill raise nearly $1.5 million to fight pediatric cancer.

Not a bad way to be remembered.

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