In the box score of Bonners Ferry’s 62-27 victory against Kalispell’s Stillwater Christian on Friday, it reads: “Hill 3.”
But that one shot meant so much more.
Kameron Hill missed his entire senior season battling cancer. His teammates not only wanted him with them on senior night, they elected him to start. The Badgers won the tip and gave the ball to Hill, unguarded, in the left corner.
Wearing a knit hat to guard against the cold, Hill calmly set up and drained a 3-pointer – then walked into the arms of his celebrating teammates.
Just like they planned it.
Bonners Ferry High School / Courtesy
Last summer, Hill thought he had suffered a knee injury. Instead, doctors discovered a cancerous tumor – osteosarcoma, bone cancer. Instead of creating happy high school memories, his senior year has been filled with chemotherapy and recovery from a full knee replacement.
According to Bonners Ferry principal Kevin Dinning, Hill was at practice last week hanging out with teammates he’s had since elementary school. He made a couple of free throws in a row, then coach Andy Rice suggested Hill take one from 3-point range. He hit a few from there, too, before wearing out.
Rice contacted Dinning to see if they could do something for Hill at senior night.
Dinning ran with the idea. He reached out to Stillwater Christian and they were “all about it,” Dinning said.
The plan was for Hill to attempt a 3-pointer. If he missed, Bonners Ferry would get the rebound and allow Hill to make a layup.
The contingency plan did not have to be enacted.
“It was amazing to see Kameron on the floor again with his teammates,” Rice said. “I don’t think you could plan that first play much better.”
Hill played less than a minute, but the memory of senior night will last for him – and everyone else that was there.
“We are extremely thankful to Stillwater Christian for allowing Kameron to start his senior night game and take his shot,” Rice said.
“It is a rare opportunity that we are truly reminded what life is all about,” Dinning said. “I am unable to thank Kameron enough for this reminder. We are so proud of him.”
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