Vol. 55, No. 4 May 2018 .pdf version
David Teel: Mitch will be toughest act to follow
Joe Mitch: After nearly four decades, it's time to retire
Lauren Hill family gives Marz emotional boost
Brunson, Bennett, Young claim top men's honors

Lauren Hill family gives Marz emotional boost

By JAMES FULLER / New Haven Register

Bookmark and Share  

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Four teams arrived at Nationwide Arena all with the same dream of leaving Ohio with a national championship. However, hours before the first basket was score or first rebound was secured, there was a reminder that some things are more important than even the pursuit of the national title.

Avery Marz played in 21 games during the 2017-18 season after a stroke forced the former high school classmate of former UConn linebacker Junior Joseph to miss three seasons with Saint Joseph's University.

More from the USBWA:
Enter the annual Best Writing Contest
Join the USBWA or renew your membership today!

Marz knew it was going to be a special day when she received the United States Basketball Writers Association's Most Courageous Award, but when the parents of 2014 winner Lauren Hill walked onto the stage and hugged Marz, there wasn't a dry eye among the audience consisting of All-Americans, high school, AAU and college coaches and administrators and media.

"It was emotional. My heart started pumping crazily up there," Marz said. "I am just so blessed that they were going to do this for me because they went out of their way and came here. I am so happy for it."

Of all the wonderful words uttered about Marz on Friday, none probably struck closer to home more than Lauren Hill's mother Lisa saying, "She reminds me a lot of Lauren."

Brent Hill echoed his wife's sentiments.

"We support Avery for having the courage to overcome her (health issues) and get herself back in one piece so could play the game again," Brent Hill said. "It just gave butterflies in my stomach when I heard she was coming, it was such an honor to be able to present this and be here with Avery and have Lauren's story touch Avery was amazing. It really just stuck in our heart."

Doctors told Marz she would never play basketball again, a diagnosis that did not deter her. It was similar to how Lauren Hill, while fighting with the cancer that would claim her life at the age of 19, realized her dream of stepping back on the basketball court.

"Just seeing Lauren's story, how it impacted me, I think looking back on it I knew that if I could do this, I could also impact others," Marz said. "That is important, I am only one person and hope I can affect a whole lot of people.

"I would say at times there were struggles, at times it was amazing. I think it goes back and forth between the two a lot."

Video shot by her mom of Avery running proved to be a reminder to her of how much she had to overcome to make it back onto the court.

"Seeing how slow and uncoordinated I was, that was a hard day for me," Marz said. "People said you were going to get there, but seeing it for myself and how uncoordinated I was, that was a hard day for me."

Marz knows her story, much like Hill's, is a farreaching one. The impact of Lauren's valiant fight to save her life can be felt to this day.

"How amazing is that?" said Brent Hill when asked about how Marz held it together emotionally in her statement after receiving the award. "That speaks for sports, the drive that they have in sports that keeps them going. Tons of pride, she (his daughter) continues to make tons of money for charity. We have events all the time; she is probably pushing $2.5 or 3 million at this point in charity, all in her name. That this small town girl from a town in Indiana was able to do something like that, it is just amazing."

Reprinted with permission from the New Haven Register.

February 2021
December 2020
June 2020
January 2020
November 2019
May 2019
March 2019
January 2019
November 2018
May 2018
March 2018
January 2018
November 2017
May 2017
March 2017
January 2017
November 2016
May 2016
March 2016
January 2016
November 2015
May 2015
March 2015
January 2015
November 2014
May 2014
March 2014
January 2014
November 2013
May 2013
March 2013
January 2013
November 2012
May 2012
March 2012
January 2012
November 2011
August 2011
May 2011
March 2011
February 2011
November 2010
May 2010
March 2010
February 2010
November 2009
May 2009
April 2009
February 2009
November 2008
May 2008
April 2008
February 2008
November 2007
May 2007
March 2007
February 2007
November 2006
May 2006
March 2006
January 2006
November 2005
May 2005 (.pdf)
March 2005 (.pdf)
January 2005 (.pdf)
November 2004 (.pdf)
May 2004 (.pdf)
March 2004 (.pdf)
January 2004 (.pdf)
November 2003 (.pdf)
May 2003 (.pdf)
March 2003 (.pdf)
January 2003 (.pdf)
November 2002 (.pdf)
January 2002 (.pdf)
November 2001 (.pdf)