Former Mount St. Joseph's women's basketball player Lauren Hill died after a courageous batter with brain cancer Friday morning. She was 19.
Local 12 in Cincinnati first reported the story.
Hill, a native of Greendale, Indiana, was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a form of brain cancer, during her senior year of high school, but decided to play for Division III Mount St. Joseph’s, which is located near Cincinnati.
“God has a new game plan for Lauren Hill. Her light will continue to shine on us all as her supporters worldwide continue her mission of increasing awareness and finding a cure for DIPG. We are forever grateful to have had Lauren grace our campus with her smile and determined spirit. She has left a powerful legacy. She taught us that every day is a blessing; every moment a gift," Mount St. Joseph University president Tony Aretz said a statement.
"As Lauren’s family and friends grieve, I am sure I speak for many who will choose to reflect on her incredible life with admiration and find ways to remember her selfless generosity. We thank God for the gift of Lauren and thank her parents and family for the honor of allowing the Mount to be a part of her life. Her love and laughter will remain in our hearts," Aretz added.
The school will hold a celebration and prayer for Hill Friday at 2 p.m. on campus.
Hill played in four games this season and made five layups, including two in her final game, a 66-65 victory over the College of Wooster on Dec. 16. She ended her playing career soon after and became an honorary coach for the team.
Hill was unsure if she would be able to play this season, but the NCAA and Mount St. Joseph's season opening opponent Hiram College allowed the team to move up the game to Nov. 2 from its orignial Nov. 15 scheduled date.
The game was also moved to the Cintas Center in Cincinnati to accommodate the more than 10,000 people that wanted tickets. Hill scored the first and the last basket of the game in Mount's 66-55 victory.
She received an honorary doctorate from Mount St. Joseph and was named to the first-team of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
She had a goal of raising $2.2 million for pediatric brain cancer research and treatment and had raised more than $1.5 million so far.
Hill is survived by her parents, Brent and Lisa Hill, and her siblings, Nate and Erin.
- Scooby Axson