College player fights tumor for moment on court
College player fights tumor for moment on court Lauren Hill puts in a layup as she practices with her team at Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati (AP photos)
College player fights tumor for moment on court
Lexile: 870L

Assign to Google Classroom

Lauren Hill is the last player to take the court for the 6 a.m. stretch. It's right before basketball practice. She's moving slowly.

The freshman wearing the blue No. 22 Mount St. Joseph jersey has days like this lately. Days when the tumor squeezing her brain also saps her energy. It robs her of coordination. Days when it would be easy just to stay in bed.

Not a chance. She makes sure no opportunity gets wasted.

"That's kind of how I look at it," Hill said during an interview. "I'm spreading awareness and also teaching people how to live in the moment because the next moment's not promised. What matters is right now."

The school's opening game was moved up to Nov. 2.. The scheduling change gives Hill a better shot to get on the court. It might be the only chance she may get before the tumor that hinders her play claims her life.

After the move, Xavier University offered its 10,000-seat arena so more people could attend. The game sold out.

College basketball players and sports teams from around the country are signing No. 22 jerseys and sending them to Lauren for support. The United States Basketball Writers Association has voted her for the Pat Summitt most courageous award. That's usually given out at the Final Four.

"This is an amazing young lady who's made an impact on the world," said coach Dan Benjamin, wearing a gray "Play for 22" T-shirt. "I wish everybody could meet her."

Hill played basketball and soccer in nearby Lawrenceburg, Indiana. On her 18th birthday last October, she decided to commit to play basketball at The Mount, as it's known locally. A few weeks later, she started feeling bad.

Tests found the cancerous tumor growing throughout her brain. Surgery wasn't an option. Six weeks of radiation, an experimental drug and two months of chemotherapy didn't help much. Doctors estimated she had a year to live.

"I try not to try really hard not to but it's hard to not think about down the road," she said.

While she prepares to play, she does as much as she can each day to raise awareness about pediatric cancer. She hopes donations might fund research that gives others a chance of beating the disease.

A lot of people are going out of their way to get to know the ponytailed, 5-foot-10 player who is showing everyone what it means to live each day fully.

NCAA President Mark Emmert called to offer encouragement. The school's president, Tony Aretz, stopped by with his wife to watch her practice and chat with Hill and her mom. And to watch No. 22 push herself as far as she can on the court.

"She's living with courage when a lot of people are afraid to live," Aretz said.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Devon Still stopped in unexpectedly last week. Still's 4-year-old daughter, Leah, has cancer. He has worked with the NFL team to raise more than $1 million for pediatric cancer treatment.

"It's like she's beyond her years," Still said. "She understands her purpose. In her 19 years of being here on Earth, she's done a lot more than a lot of older people have done."

Critical thinking challenge: What is Laurens purpose?

Source URL:

Filed Under:  
Assigned 145 times

  • Taryne
    10/29/2014 - 01:08 p.m.

    That is really inspiring to all . Even though you know you only have a year left to live you take every and any moment you get and make it the best. You push until you can't anymore , you are a very strong girl. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • CHB2001aaa
    10/29/2014 - 01:18 p.m.

    Lauren's purpose is to show people even though she has a tumor in her skull that doesn't stop her from trying her best. Also, her purpose is to show that she shouldn't sacrifice what she loves because of a symptom that is selfish and trying to take away her life.

  • Calebe-OBr
    10/29/2014 - 02:29 p.m.

    It must have been very scary for Lauren Hill, having a tumor that could take away her life. But nothing could stop her from playing the sport she loves. I bet it was an honor for the Mount St. Joseph team when Xavier University gave their court to them. If I were Lauren, I wouldn`t want all the attention on me. If I got the attention, then I would expect my team should get the attention, too.

  • leahl-Fit
    10/29/2014 - 07:22 p.m.

    Just by reading the title of this article, you can immediately tell that Lauren is one of a kind. No matter what illness (or whatever you consider it) she has, she will do whatever it takes to live in the very moment of a certain event or happening. I actually find this article very interesting because you never see a teen pull off such a thing on a daily basis, especially with the very fact that she could die any minute. Lauren is truly a brave and extraordinary girl!

  • ChaseG-5
    10/29/2014 - 07:30 p.m.

    This article is about a college basketball player that is battling cancer. She learned she had a tumor in her brain just before attending Mount St. Joseph. She realized she may die in a year but she still tries to battle against cancer. She plans to try and play On Nov. 4 at Xavier University in front of 10,000 people. She is trying to raise awareness so people will research and try to stop pediatric cancer. I think this article is interesting because she has cancer yet she is still playing basketball at the collegiate level. I also think that she is doing a great thing by raising awareness for pediatric cancer.

  • parkerm-Fit
    10/29/2014 - 08:57 p.m.

    Lauren Hill's purpose is to live in the moment. The college basketball player also is informing the world about Pediatric Cancer by being courageous and not letting the cancer take control of her life. Some people are afraid to live their lives to the fullest, where this girl, who could've been a professional college star for many years in the future, is going to die.She knows that she will not live much longer, but that is not stopping her, she is going to live every day for the rest of her life to the fullest.

  • dinosaurs.destiny
    10/29/2014 - 09:26 p.m.

    This was a very moving article. I like how the author or the person who wrote this added many quotes. The quotes added emotion you could really tell what was going on. I also like the quote at the end it is a little emotional and motivational.

  • naomib-Fit
    10/29/2014 - 09:37 p.m.

    In this article the writer is telling the story of courageous Lauren Hill. Doctors found a cancerous tumor growing throughout her brain last year. She was told she probably has a year to live. She had made a commitment to playing for The Mount on her 18th birthday last year and is keeping her word. At times she may have little energy or coordination. She is determined to live her life to the fullest extent no matter how long it may be.

  • SydneyL-3
    10/29/2014 - 10:14 p.m.

    Lauren Hill is a 19 year old that has a tumor strangling her brain, but she doesn't let that get in the way of her love for basketball. The tumor may decline her energy and coordination, but she makes sure that she doesn't waste any opportunity. While keeping up with playing basketball, she also does as much as she can each day to raise awareness about pediatric cancer. She wants she wants others to donate to help fund researches that may give others a chance of beating the disease. The Unites States Basketball Writers Association has voted her for the Pat Summitt most courageous award, an award that is usually given our at the Final Four. I think that this article was very touching because it shows people that are afraid to live with any condition they may be in to keep pushing through the hard times and to not give up. It also tells others to live each day to its best and to keep fighting.

  • Bentley316
    10/29/2014 - 10:19 p.m.

    I think Laurens "purpose" is to get the massage across to make this moment count, because the next one isn't guarantied. Life doesn't give out second chances or do overs, so you need to make this one count. Sometimes myself and the rest of us take life for granted and we don't think twice of it, or we worry to much about whats going to happen rather than focusing on whats happening right now. Life isn't going to mean anything unless you worrier about whats going on now, and have fun. Things aren't always going to go your way but they will mean something, everything always means something. Lauren does a really good job of explaining this in a way that viewers can understand, the message on life was pretty clear.

Leave a comment
Leave a comment