Lauren Hill will fight cancer from the bench as an honorary coach

The Dagger
FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2014, file photo, Mount St. Joseph's Lauren Hill gives a thumbs-up as she holds the game ball during her first NCAA college basketball game against Hiram University at Xavier University in Cincinnati. The freshman at Mount St. Joseph decided Wednesday Dec. 17, 2014 to give up her playing career after achieving her goal of scoring in a game even as she fights an inoperable brain tumor. Hill will continue raising money for cancer research as she spends time with her family. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman, File)

Lauren Hill to become honorary coach

FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2014, file photo, Mount St. Joseph's Lauren Hill gives a thumbs-up as she holds the game ball during her first NCAA college basketball game against Hiram University at Xavier University in Cincinnati. The freshman at Mount St. Joseph decided Wednesday Dec. 17, 2014 to give up her playing career after achieving her goal of scoring in a game even as she fights an inoperable brain tumor. Hill will continue raising money for cancer research as she spends time with her family. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman, File)

Lauren Hill's playing career is complete as a result of her deteriorating health, but the cancer-stricken Mount St. Joseph University freshman still isn't ready to leave basketball behind.

She will remain part of the Mount St. Joseph team as an honorary coach, head coach Dan Benjamin wrote in an email to various media outlets.

Hill has been as an inspiration to many nationwide because of her courage after receiving a dire diagnosis. Doctors discovered an inoperable tumor growing at the base of Hill's brain stem last year and told her she wouldn't live through December, yet she has refused to give up on her dream of playing college basketball.

Ten thousand fans packed the Cintas Center at Xavier University and a national TV audience watched as Hill fulfilled her dream of playing college basketball for the first time on Nov. 2, scoring a layup on the game's opening possession and a put-back late in the second half. She also has used her growing fame to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for pediatric cancer research, spearheading fundraisers and doing as many interviews with local and national media outlets as she could in hopes of spreading her message.

Hill's final college game came Tuesday against College of Wooster. She started and scored the opening basket of her team's 66-65 victory before exiting the game for the final time.

"Lauren played her final college basketball game yesterday," the family wrote in a Facebook post. "She stepped onto the court one last time in her college career and again fought the odds and made a basket that brought everyone in the gym to their feet. At the end of the game, she accepted a donation from Wooster toward her $1 million goal. It was incredible to see her continue to show such resolve and determination and continue to play strong both on the court and in life."

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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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