CINCINNATI — The Mount St. Joseph women’s basketball team will open its 2015-2016 season Saturday in tribute to Lauren Hill.
In a way, the Tipoff Classic will serve as a recreation of the momentous game, one year ago, when Hill achieved her goal of scoring a basket in a college game, even as brain cancer was draining her of life. Mount St. Joseph will face Hiram College, just like last year.
This time, though, the Tipoff Classic also represents another push to raise money for pediatric cancer research.
Leading up to Saturday’s game, WCPO has partnered with The Cure Starts Now Cancer Foundation to conduct the Lauren Hill Telethon, starting Friday at 3 p.m. until Saturday at 1 p.m.
Donations can be made by calling 513-772-4888 or online here.
Before she died, Hill pledged to raise $2.2 million in new cancer research funding. Hill's number on Mount St. Joseph's team was 22, and the telethon will take donations for 22 hours.
So far, Layup4Lauren has raised $1.9 million.
More than 3,000 fans are expected on Saturday for a doubleheader that also includes a game against the Xavier women’s team and Evansville.
Hill was diagnosed with inoperable brain tumor during her senior year of high school but decided to attend Mount St. Joseph and play basketball even though doctors gave her only a year to live. The NCAA allowed the schools to move up their opener because of her deteriorating condition, and the game was moved to Xavier so more people could attend.
Joe Kay with the Associated Press contributed to this report.