One of the more emotional stories that you will ever see unfolded last week into the weekend as Lauren Hill suffering from a inoperable brain tumor played in her first college basketball game for Division III Mount St. Joseph’s on Sunday.
Many things had to come together for this to happen. First, Mount St. Joseph’s opponent, Hiram College had to agree to move a home game two weeks earlier than scheduled. Second, the game was moved to the larger Cintas Center on the Xavier University campus in Cincinnati. Third, the NCAA had to sign off on the whole idea. And fourth and last, Fox Sports aired the game on many of its regional sports networks across the country as well as streaming it for free on the Fox Sports Go app.
It was good on Fox Sports not to hide the game under its authentication wall to allow viewers to watch it online especially in New England and other locations where either Fox Sports Net does not have an affiliate or the local FSN channel was committed to airing another sporting event.
After Hill scored the first basket of the game, the game was stopped briefly for hugs and a standing ovation. Later, she was interviewed by the Big East Network broadcasting crew which produced the game for Fox Sports Net. In addition, Lauren’s father and mother came to the broadcast table to talk about their emotions seeing their daughter being able to play in the game.
Later, halftime ceremonies were aired during which former Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summit handed Hill the Most Courageous Award.
The game was secondary as the production focused on Hill and her struggles to make it to the court yesterday after being diagnosed with the brain tumor and that was o.k. The telecast gave viewers an opportunity to get to know Lauren and her organization raising awareness against the rare disease that is taking her life.
While Hiram-Mount St. Joseph may not make a dent in the NFL’s ratings as it was played at 2 p.m. ET, it was a nice alternative and a great story to watch live. Kudos to Fox for allowing the nation to be able to tune in and watch.