Hanover College women’s basketball had quite a crowd Jan. 28 when we took on Mount St. Joseph University Lions. Called “Hanover Honors Hill,” the team dedicated the game to Lauren Hill, a freshman at Mount St. Joe diagnosed with DIPG, a very rare form of brain cancer, just months after committing to play women’s basketball at MSJ.
The HC vs. MSJ game was a gray out, meaning the team encouraged everyone to wear gray to support brain cancer awareness. The turnout for the game was amazing. There were many supportive fans from both sides.
Hanover College decided not to take admission at the game, but instead accepted donations to help raise money for Hill and the Cure Starts Now Foundation, which she has worked closely with since her diagnosis.
The school ended up raising more than $1,900. There were more donations collected by small high schools and added to the fund.
Hanover presented MSJ Women’s Head Basketball Coach Dan Benjamin with two T-shirts honoring Hill and a framed photo. The photo was of one athlete from every HC sports team wearing the number 22, her number.
Hill’s dream was to play in a college basketball game. After her first college game at Xavier University she said, “I never thought I would play on a college court, put my feet on the floor and feel the vibration of the crowd.”
During this game, more than 10,000 fans came to support Hill. She also scored the first and last points of the Hiram vs. MSJ game, hosted by Xavier University.
Speaking for Hanover College and the women’s basketball team, I can say that every single one of us is truly inspired by Lauren Hill. Her love of basketball and the determination to fulfill her dream of playing in a college basketball game has moved us all.
She has had a tremendous amount of courage and has touched people all over the world and continues to inspire others. Her optimism and love of life is something we should all grasp and be thankful for each day. Thank you, Lauren, for your inspiration! We are truly thankful for being a part of your journey.