LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. (AP) — College basketball player Lauren Hill’s Indiana high school retired her jersey number this weekend in honor of her inspirational fight to continue playing despite having brain cancer.
Hill told the crowd at Lawrenceburg High School on Saturday night that she thought she was simply coming to watch her old team play.
The 19-year-old freshman has gained attention for her efforts to play at Division III Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati and raise money to research and treat cancer. She was diagnosed with brain cancer last year and has perhaps only months to live.
“All this has been amazing and the continued support from everybody, and all the other teams, and the community,” Hill told the crowd. “There’s really good people out there, that I’ve learned, and I’m speechless.”
A banner with Hill’s No. 22 jersey was unveiled during the halftime ceremony and Lawrenceburg’s mayor declared there would be a Lauren Hill Week in the southeastern Indiana city.
The Layup4Lauren challenge has helped raise more than $300,000 in the last few weeks for cancer research.
More than 10,000 people attended the Mount St. Joseph game on Nov. 2 against Hiram College, where Hill fulfilled her dream of playing college basketball and made two layups. She unexpectedly played again Friday night against Bethany College, scoring another basket.
Lawrenceburg girls basketball coach Zane White said those at the school will be inspired by Hill wherever they go.
“It’s an honor to know Lauren and be able to do this for her,” he said.