Even LeBron James Thinks This Cancer-Stricken College Player Is an MVP

UPDATE: ESPN fans weren't the only ones moved by Lauren Hill's story. Over the past 24 hours, all-star athletes like Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James and Cincinnati Bengals' Devon Still showed their support for the cancer-stricken basketball star. Read on for the full story.

It's rare for a college basketball game to move people to tears, but anyone watching Sunday's matchup between Mount St. Joseph University and Hiram College needed some tissues. And it's all because of Lauren Hill.

The Mount St. Joseph freshman took the court over the weekend for her first — and probably last — college competition. Hill, who has been playing basketball since sixth grade, was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, a rare type of brain cancer, during her senior year of high school. The news came shortly after she signed on to attend and play for Mount St. Joseph University. Not willing to let the disease defer her dreams, Lauren underwent treatment and worked hard to keep her skills sharp — continuing to wake up at 5:30 a.m. and attend team practices. But the cancer had other plans. In September, Lauren was told that the tumor had spread and she only has a few months to live.

But she still kept fighting for her dream. With the first game of the season scheduled for mid-November, Lauren's parents and coach convinced the NCAA to move the game up two weeks in hopes that Lauren would be healthy enough to play.

And she was. On Sunday afternoon, in front of 10,000 fans cheering her name, Lauren made her NCAA debut.

"I never thought I would play on a college court," Lauren told ESPN, "put my feet on the floor and feel the vibration of the crowd." And it only got better from there. After being on the court for 17 seconds, Lauren hit a left-handed layup and scored the first point of the game. The crowd roared, and players from both teams gave Lauren a standing ovation before she bowed out of the game. She spent the rest of the game on the sidelines, cheering for her teammates, but that didn't stop several stars from taking note of her performance, including Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James and Cincinnati Bengals' Devon Still, whose daughter underwent cancer treatment last month.

Not only did the game result in a 66-55 victory for Mount St. Joseph University, but it also raised $40,000 for The Cure Starts Now, a foundation devoted to helping those with pediatric cancer. It was everything Lauren wanted from her first college game.

"This game has been amazing, and everything that happened today was amazing," Lauren told ESPN. "This is a really good day." Front Page