Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Lauren Hill, a college basketball player at a small college in Ohio who battled inoperable brain cancer, died Friday. She was 19 years old.
Hill learned she had brain cancer, DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma), before enrolling at Division III Mount St. Joseph University in suburban Cincinnati and wouldn't let her condition dictate how she lived despite the terminal diagnosis.
She helped start a foundation to fight pediatric brain cancer, called The Cure Starts Now.
"We are saddened to hear that our friend Lauren Hill has passed away," the foundation wrote on its Twitter feed. "Our thoughts & prayers go out to her family during this difficult time.
"Lauren wanted it to be known that #DIPG didn't beat her, but that she beat DIPG. Her efforts will help make strides in cancer research."
Hill's condition worsened as the season for Mount St. Joseph approached in November. The NCAA allowed the school to move up its season opener against Hiram College by two weeks, enabling Hill to participate.
In the Nov. 2 game, Hill made a layup in the first minute of the contest and added the last basket of the game.
Hill wound up playing in four games before her condition deteriorated and made it impossible for her to continue. She was still selected to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference First-Team.