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Terminally Ill College Player Lauren Hill Lives College Hoops Dream

College Player Lauren Hill Takes the Court While Battling Cancer 1:52

It was over in a moment, but the layup Lauren Hill made 17 seconds into a college basketball game Sunday was a life-long dream come true.

“I caught the ball turned and looked at the basket and I put it up there. And I watched it all the way through,” Hill, a 19-year-old student at Mount St. Joseph who suffers from a rare brain tumor and is predicted to have only months to live, said of her score 17 seconds into a game against Hiram College, which was moved up two weeks so she would be healthy enough to play.

“I was jumping up and down and dancing on my toes because I was just so filled with joy,” she said.

Hill, a freshman at the Cincinnati area school, was diagnosed last year with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, a rare form of pediatric cancer. As word of her condition and her dream to play college ball spread, professional athletes jumped into support her, including NBA superstar LeBron James.

"You are simply and truly “AMAZING” Lauren Hill!!! Thank you for inspiring me and I’ll try my best to match you! Congrats on your game," James said on Instagram Monday.

The NCAA allowed the game to be moved up two weeks in hopes that Hill, who has severe headaches, is sensitive to light and has difficulties with her right hand from the cancer, could play. Some 10,000 people packed the venue.

Hill made her first layup in the starting moments of the game, using her left hand even though she is right-handed. After sitting on the bench for the rest of the game following that shot, she asked to go back in near the end. Her next attempt to score missed, but she then made her second layup using her right hand.

"I wanted to push and challenge myself because that is who I am,” she said, noting that she’d made a commitment to the team before she learned of the tumor. "Once I commit to something, I do it, part of (my) never give up attitude. That's why I'm doing what I'm doing still. I love basketball so much. The girls they are my family already and Coach Bear is like a dad."

"I wanted to push and challenge myself because that is who I am,” she said, noting that she’d made a commitment to the team before she learned of the tumor. "Once I commit to something, I do it, part of (my) never give up attitude. That's why I'm doing what I'm doing still. I love basketball so much. The girls they are my family already and Coach Bear is like a dad."

Hill began an online layup challenge (#Layup4Lauren) to raise awareness of her cancer. Participants have to spin around five times then make a layup with their non-dominant hand. If they make the basket, they pass on the challenge to someone else. If not, Hill is asking for people to make a donation to the The Cure Starts Now Foundation.

"They need to feel like I feel — to be dizzy," she said.

Her father, Brent Hill, said it’s been hard to see his daughter struggle with the cancer. But he said she rose to the occasion as game time approached.

"The smile started to come back and by game time she was ready," he said.

Hill said she’ll keep going on with life as usual — college classes, basketball — until she can’t.

"I'm blessed to have the moments that I am feeling good," she said. "I'm always going to be there to support my team because they have always been here. I’m going to be there for them because that is what you do for family."