In the light of the scandal at the U of North Carolina, and the continuing dog-wagging from the tail of college athletics, it’s tempting sometimes simply to say to hell with it. But then there’s this story from my old Cincinnati stomping grounds.
Lauren Hill is a 19-year-old freshpeep and basketball player at Mt. St. Joseph University, a small Catholic school in Cincinnati. She probably won’t see the end of the term, and may not make it to Thanksgiving. You see, a few days after she committed to MSJ last year, she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, a type with a zero percent survival rate. The doctors gave her one to three years, but it now looks as though it’s going to be on the short end of that.
Throughout the process, Ms. Hill has tried to cram as much life as she could into the time she has, and part of that has been the sport she loves. She said that she wants to play one college game for Mt. St. Joe, wearing the number 22 she earned.
Blessedly, she’ll get the chance Sunday. The NCAA granted a scheduling waiver, and nearby Hiram College has agreed to move its game against MSJ to Sunday. Ms. Hill will play, and a local TV station will carry the game live. The game has been moved to Xavier University’s gym, and the 10,000-seat gym sold out in half an hour.
Sometimes college sports makes me angry — justifiably. But it can also break my heart. Good luck and God bless you, Ms. Hill.