Hill, a 19-year-old freshman and native of Greendale, Indiana, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor during her senior year of high school but decided to play for the NCAA Division III college, which is located near Cincinnati.
She played in four games this season and made five layups, including two in her final game, a 66-65 victory over the College of Wooster on Dec. 16. She ended her playing career soon after and became an honorary coach for the team.
"This award is being presented to Lauren in recognition of her courage and outstanding leadership," conference commissioner Chris Ragsdale said Wednesday. "Lauren has been a tremendous inspiration and role model for all student-athletes across the country. She has shown through her leadership and dedication how one individual can truly make a difference."
Meanwhile on Wednesday, Upper Deck announced it is joining the fight to help raise awareness and funds by creating a rookie card for Hill, with all proceeds going to The Cure Starts Now Foundation. The goal of the foundation is to aid in research so they can ultimately find a cure for pediatric brain cancer and improve the quality of life for those suffering from the disease.
Fans of Hill can order her Upper Deck rookie card for $10 or an authentic signed version for $50 through the foundation's online store.
Upbeat and always smiling, Hill has helped raise more than $1.3 million for research. She is occasionally hospitalized for treatment now. Last week, the Mount St. Joseph team held its postseason banquet in Hill's hospital room.
"Even at the banquet, she comes in her wheelchair and she's all smiles. And that's truly amazing," coach Dan Benjamin told The Associated Press last week. "I don't know what her pain level is or how much suffering she's going through, but the girl smiles every time she gets a chance."
Doctors didn't expect Hill to live this long with the tumor, which folds around parts of her brain.
"The first diagnosis was December, around Christmastime, which is why I went ahead and tried to get the first game moved up," Benjamin said. "But that's Lauren. Lauren's not going to let it beat her. She's going to keep fighting."
Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.
Lauren Hill: One More Game
Tom Rinaldi tells the story of Lauren Hill, diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer and expected to live only until December, as she takes the basketball court for Division III Mount St. Joseph.
Lauren Hill Scores In First College Game
Lauren Hill, a freshman with inoperable brain cancer, scored four points in Division III Mount St. Joseph's game against Hiram College.
Lauren Hill's Charity Reaches $1M In Donations
Ohio college basketball player Lauren Hill, who has a brain tumor, talks about the anonymous donation of $116,000, which helped Hill reach her goal of $1 million in donations for cancer research and treatment by the end of the year.
Lauren Hill Honored
Lauren Hill could not attend the Mount St. Joseph University women's basketball team banquet so the team brought it to her at the hospital. She also received the Governor's Courage Award.