KNOXVILLE -- Lauren Hill was honored with a permanent place in basketball history in Knoxville on Thursday. Hill is the first ever recipient of the first ever "For the Love of the Game" award in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
Hill died of DIPG, a rare form a pediatric brain cancer, in April 2015. She was able to play in three college basketball games for Mount St. Joseph University before she died.
"This game was amazing and it was amazing in every way. It's just a dream come true to play on the college level," Hill said at a news conference after her first game. "I just wanted to play. I just love it so much. I love basketball."
The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame said Hill's love of the sport showed -- enough to set the bar (high) for this new award.
"Here's a person who has impacted the game of women's basketball," aid Dana Hart, the hall of fame's president, told the Knoxville News Sentinel. "She's impacted the game by her love of the game and her desire to play when she was in the fight of her life."
Hart said hall of fame inductees and the board of directors weighed in collectively on the decision. Only 25 plaques are reserved for future award recipients.
Hill has posthumously received awards from the NCAA, ESPN and local commemorations -- most recently, a street in her hometown of Greendale was renamed #22 Lauren Hill Lane.