Lauren Hill, the terminally ill cancer patient determined to play her first (and last) collegiate basketball game, achieved her goal in style earlier today. In front of a packed crowd at the sold out Cintas Center, not only did Lauren manage to play the game, she also managed to score a perfect layup on her debut in the 17th second of the game against Hiram College, reports the Detroit Free Press.
After she scored, Lauren received a standing ovation from the 10,200 strong crowd, many of whom had specially arrived just to see her. Players from Hiram College as well as her team mates from Mount St. Joseph College congratulated her. Lauren exited the game soon – but was back again in the final 26 seconds of the game where she managed to score another basket! She ended the game, managing to score 4 points, reports ESPN.
The Inquisitr had last week reported about the inspiring story of the terminally ill Lauren who has a rare form of cancer that affects the brain stem. The location of the cancer makes treatment virtually impossible. In fact, Lauren, according to doctors, only has a few months left to live.
In an interview to reporters following her all important game, Lauren quipped, “Let’s not call this my last game. Let’s call this my first collegiate game. I’ve never felt this good in my life.”
It took meticulous planning and weeks of preparation for the Mount St. Joseph College team to give Lauren Hill the dream debut she wanted, reports USA Today. There were several challenges that they had to overcome before they could see Lauren’s dream come true. First and foremost, Lauren had to live long enough till the day. Given only a few months to live, time was fast running out for Lauren. Secondly, she needed to be in a good physical condition to be able to play the game. Thirdly, the game that happened today had to be played two weeks earlier than it was actually scheduled for. To ensure that Lauren Hill manages to play the game, the NCAA gave all necessary approvals to go ahead with the game, two weeks earlier.
Luckily for everyone who loved and supported Lauren, everything went well. Weeks of planning finally paid off, and you can see how smoothly the team managed to help Lauren score the layup in her very first game. Following Lauren’s remarkable achievement, the NCAA tweeted out her achievement.
— NCAA (@NCAA) November 2, 2014
The crowd assembled at the Cintas Center who came in just to watch Lauren Hill play included several celebrities such as Fred Jackson of the Buffalo Bills, Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, and WNBA standouts Elena Delle Donne, Skylar Diggins and Tamika Catchings.
In a ceremony held during the halftime of the match, Hill was presented with the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award.
Watch the amazing video of the moment Lauren Hill managed to score her first layup. You’d have a hard time controlling your emotions!
[Image Via YouTube]