My Favorite Basketball Player This Season!

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People say to me all the time, 'You have no fear.' I tell them, 'No, that's not true. I'm scared all the time. You have to have fear in order to have courage. I'm a courageous person because I'm a scared person.'

Ronda Rousey

It's March Madness-2015...probably one of the best times in the whole sports year! And with all the hoopla; the most unlikely upsets, the perfect brackets wrecked, our desperate hopes that our favorite team will somehow advance to the next round...... and human interest story after human interest story connected with the NCAA tournament, it can be so easy to forget the most courageous story, by far, of this 2014-15 NCAA basketball season.

lauren hill

CLICK ON IMAGE: to view short clip on Lauren Hill's story playing basketball while battling terminal brain cancer.


Pause for a minute.

Let us consider: 19-year old Lauren Hill-women's basketball player for the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio will NOT be here this time next year.

We will have many more basketball seasons to participate in, to celebrate, to enjoy but Lauren Hill will not. Her dearest friends, teammates, family will probably be here but something will be missing. Something, or should I say SOMEBODY; Lauren Hill who is so unique, so distinct, so unrepeatable. So for her, and for those who are friends, teammates and family THIS SEASON is IT. This season is the championship season. This season is the one that really matters. This season is literally the life or death season.

Rarely, do most of us get the opportunity to realize that a basketball tournament is really NOT a life or death matter when one of our teams loses and gets knocked out, ESPECIALLY when compared to a young person literally battling for THEIR life. Lauren Hill has given me a new, enlightened perspective, showcasing a real person playing a game called basketball but really focusing on the things far greater than the mere game of basketball; like LIFE and DEATH. And this perspective, thankfully, is not just mine alone. Thousands upon thousands have stood up and taken notice.... and cheered and cheered and cheered Lauren on, friends and opponents alike. Hiram College women's basketball team (Mt. St. Joe's first opponent this 2014-15 season) was so affected that several news agencies did stories on their players reactions to Lauren's story. Below is one of those news stories.

lauren hill vs. hiram

CLICK ON IMAGE: to view video of Lauren Hill's effect on the Hiram College Women's basketball team when they played earlier this year.


Assuredly, Lauren will not be MOST remembered for her proficient scoring ability, her acrobatic moves to the basketball hoop, her tenacious style of defense or her integral role in helping her team to win several conference or NCAA championships. Instead, and far more importantly, she will be remembered as a TRUE HERO because she was a normal 19 year teenager who was forced to be courageous, and instead of running from it, has embraced that cross. She chooses to LIVE LIFE throughout the daily pain, agony, weariness and fear because it's the right thing to do AND because of this experience she can bring hope and maybe even a cure for others.

Whether our team wins the NCAA Championship or our NCCA bracket wins the office pool in April, let's all of us do ourselves a favor and not forget the Lauren Hill story, the REAL story this basketball season AND let us also always remember her fight, her struggle, and ultimately her triumph this 2014-2015 basketball season.

Chris Willertz 
Virtue = Strength!

*Dedicated to Mrs. Trish Brooks and all the heroes fighting the daily battle against cancer, EVERY DAY! May God help us find a cure through their struggles.

lauren hill never give up