CINCINNATI (AP) — College basketball player Lauren Hill started a layup challenge on Monday to raise money for research into the brain cancer that has left her with only months to live.
The freshman at Division III Mount St. Joseph was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer a year ago. The NCAA allowed the school to move up its opening game to Sunday because of her worsening condition.
The game was moved to Xavier University’s Cintas Center — which seats more than 10,000 — and sold out quicker than an NBA exhibition this month featuring LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Although she’s right-handed, Hill has to shoot with her left hand now because the tumor has affected her coordination. Also, she can’t turn her head side-to-side because it makes her dizzy, so she has to move her entire upper body.
Hill decided to make those elements part of her challenge, which is similar to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral in social media during the summer. She called her campaign #Layup4Lauren.
“Since she has to compete with dizziness and shoot with her non-dominant hand, the challenge is this: You have to spin around five times and shoot with your non-dominant hand,” coach Dan Benjamin said.
In a video released Monday, Hill makes a left-handed layup and challenges James, Spud Webb, the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, her high school basketball coach, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and left tackle Andrew Whitworth. Hammon is the first full-time paid female assistant coach in the NBA.
If they make the layup, they can challenge someone else. If they fail, they donate $10 to cancer research.
Whitworth wrote her No. 22 on his gloves for a 27-24 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. He tweeted a photo of his gloves with the comment: “Lauren’s an inspiration 2 us all!”