Lauren Hill remembered for her courage, resolve at memorial service

Lauren Hill is remembered as a great friend and teammate at same arena where she scored first college basket

Lauren Hill was remembered as a friend, a teammate and a hero during her memorial service Monday in the same arena she made her first -- and final -- layups as a freshman for Mount St. Joseph.

An estimated 10,000 people attended the service at Xavier University's Cintas Center in Cincinnati to pay final respects to Hill, who didn't let a brain tumor stop her from realizing her dream of playing college basketball. Hill, 19, died on Friday.

Family, friends and teammates shared their memories of Hill, describing her as a fighter who inspired them.

“She has revealed to us that one person can make a difference,” said Dr. Mariko DeWire, one of her physicians. “She truly is our victorious hero.”

Mount St. Joseph Coach Dan Benjamin kissed Hill's No. 22 jersey before putting it on her silver casket, which for the service was placed on the spot of the left-handed layup she scored in a game Nov. 2.

Hill's resolve and courage made her an inspiration for many high-profile athletes. Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James tweeted a heart-felt tribute to Hill following her death.

Hill, who was diagnosed with the tumor during her senior year in high school, devoted the final year of her life to playing basketball in an effort aimed at raising cancer awareness. She raised roughly $1.5 million for cancer research through a nonprofit she co-founded, the Cure Starts Now Foundation.

"Lauren chose to be the victor," said Rev. Corey Potts from her church in Indiana. “When she was in the hospital, I went to see Lauren expecting to cheer her up. And she cheered me up.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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