Lauren Hill: Mourners Pay Tribute to Teen Athlete Who Died of Cancer

Hill's motto was, "Never give up."

— -- The number 22 is cropping up in all sorts of places as people pay tribute to Lauren Hill, a teen who died last week after gaining national attention by playing college basketball this fall despite her inoperable brain tumor. Her motto was, "Never give up."

Hill, who died on Friday at age 19, was a high school standout player recruited to play on the Mount St. Joseph University basketball team in Cincinnati. But shortly after committing to play for Mount St. Joseph in 2013, she learned she had an inoperable brain tumor called a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. Although playing a college game seemed impossible, she practiced with the team anyway.

On Nov. 2, 2014, she played her first NCAA game in the packed Xavier University Cintas Center, scoring the first and last points of the night.

The same, more-than-10,000-seat venue will hold Hill's memorial tonight at 7 p.m.

Those who were touched by Hill have been finding ways to remember her over the last few days.

At Hill's high school in Indiana, students trickled out of class throughout the day to paint a memorial on the front steps, said current Lawrenceburg High School junior Courtnie Mollaun.

"We decorated the stairs and the whole front of the school," Mollaun said, adding that flowers and cards for Hill's family are underneath a tree on the common, and Hill's high school basketball coach has put her jersey on display.

Someone painted a bus with the number 22, too, ABC News Cincinnati affiliate WCPO reported.

When the Mount St. Joseph University's softball team played a double-header on Sunday, none of the players wore their own jerseys. Instead, they all wore gray ones that said "Hill 22," Lauren's name and number, according to WCPO.

"We lost a friend, a daughter, and we lost an unselfish angel," Dan Benjamin told the crowd. Benjamin coached Hill as Mount St. Joseph's girls' basketball coach and also assistant coaches the softball team.

Benjamin told the station he was visiting Hill in the hospital when her mother asked him to tell her it was "OK to go."

"I did everything I could to let her know, but like Lauren, I told her mom, 'She's going to go when she's ready to go,'" Benjamin told WCPO.

Hill scored the first and last points of the game, despite problems with her dominant hand and sensitivity to light and sound.

Through Club 22 -- named for Hill's jersey number -- Hill had raised more than $1.6 million toward the Cure Starts Now Foundation, which was founded by the mother of a little girl who died eight years ago of the same cancer.

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