ATHLETIC VOICE: Dying player inspires fans worldwide


“Our deepest fear is not that we are not inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”

Great statesman Nelson Mandela said those powerful words.

They apply to Lauren Hill, 19, who has touched many people across the world. She is not afraid to shrink so others won’t feel insecure around her, and knows that everyone is meant to shine.

Hill was diagnosed last fall with terminal brain cancer after suffering vertigo and dizziness while playing for her Ohio high school basketball team. She had no idea she had an inoperable brain tumor until she got an MRI.

She fought through into her senior year, continuing to play basketball while finishing chemotherapy and radiation.

This October, however, Hill had a follow-up exam that changed her life. Doctors told Hill and her family she had months to live.

Hill knew there was nothing anyone could do to help or make her heartache go away. She stayed humble and continued to enjoy life. She had one dream, which was to play in a college basketball game wearing the number 22 for one last time.

Hill’s dream came true.

Mount St. Joseph University, a Division III school in Cincinnati, accepted Hill onto the women’s basketball team.

The university moved up its first game of the season to Nov. 2, in case Hill’s condition worsened. The sold-out game was hosted in a bigger arena to fit 10,000 people

Hill played and scored the first points wearing number 22, just as she dreamed.

The amount of love shown when she scored was heart fulfilling.

Her story is now worldwide, crossing through high schools, colleges and professional basketball organizations.

Hill has no set date for when her time might end, but she’s living the dream as if she’s still chasing it. Hill keeps smiling but is devastated that she will be leaving the people she loves most.

Her story offers motivation and hope to those who’ve heard.

Most athletes take their sport for granted and don’t really understand how lucky they are to play the game they love. I know this for a fact because I am one of those athletes.

Hill has not only inspired me but athletes across the world to appreciate the moments we have.


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