CINCINNATI (AP) — Lauren Hill is the last player to take the court for the 6 a.m. stretch before basketball practice. She's moving slowly today.
The freshman wearing the blue No. 22 Mount St. Joseph jersey has days like this lately. Days when the inoperable tumor squeezing her brain also saps her energy and robs her of coordination. Days when it would be easy just to stay in bed.
Not a chance. Since her diagnosis a year ago, she makes sure no opportunity gets wasted.
"That's kind of how I look at it," Hill said during an interview, resting in a folding chair after practice Thursday. "I'm spreading awareness and also teaching people how to live in the moment because the next moment's not promised. Anything can happen at any given moment. What matters is right now."
Acknowledging the urgency, the NCAA made a special exception to move up the Division III school's opener against Hiram College to Nov. 2, despite its rules that require seasons to start later in November. The scheduling change gives Hill a better shot to get on the court — the only chance she may get before the growing tumor that hinders her play also claims her life.
After the move, Xavier University offered its 10,000-seat arena so more people could attend. The game sold out faster than a Cleveland Cavaliers exhibition earlier this month.
College basketball players and sports teams from around the country are signing No. 22 jerseys and sending them to Lauren for support. The United States Basketball Writers Association has voted her for the Pat Summitt most courageous award, which is usually given out at the Final Four.
"This is an amazing young lady who's made an impact on the world, more than I will ever do," said coach Dan Benjamin, wearing a gray "Play for 22" T-shirt. "I wish everybody could meet her."
Hill played basketball and soccer in nearby Lawrenceburg, Indiana. On her 18th birthday last October, she decided to commit to play basketball at The Mount, as it's known locally. A few weeks later, she started feeling bad.
Tests found the cancerous tumor growing throughout her brain. Surgery wasn't an option. Six weeks of radiation, an experimental drug and two months of chemotherapy didn't help much. Doctors estimated she had a year to live.
"I try not to — try really hard not to — but it's hard to not think about down the road," she said.
While she prepares to play, she does as much as she can each day to raise awareness about pediatric cancer, hoping donations might fund research that gives others a chance of beating the disease.
A lot of people are going out of their way to get to know the ponytailed, 5-foot-10 player who is showing everyone — with each deliberate dribble, every left-handed shot, each time she just shows up — what it means to live each day fully.
NCAA President Mark Emmert called to offer encouragement. The school's president, Tony Aretz, stopped by with his wife to watch her practice and chat with Hill and her mom. And to watch No. 22 push herself as far as she can on the court.
"She's living with courage when a lot of people are afraid to live," Aretz said.
Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Devon Still stopped in unexpectedly this week. Still's 4-year-old daughter, Leah, has cancer, and he has worked with the NFL team to raise more than $1 million for pediatric cancer treatment.
"It's like she's beyond her years," Still said. "She understands her purpose. In her 19 years of being here on Earth, she's done a lot more than a lot of older people have done."
Hill's parents and two younger siblings are trying to pack as much as they can into however many weeks she has left.
"You try not to concentrate on it too much because you can get caught up in the grief of the sheer fact that you're probably going to lose your child," her mother, Lisa Hill said. "But if I grieve and get depressed and curl up into a ball, I rob myself and her of today. Why?
"We've got today. I can spend today with her doing everything we want to do — just chit-chatting, listening to music, going shopping, whatever she wants to do. If I didn't get out of bed, I'd miss out on all those things."
Although she's right-handed, Lauren has to shoot with her left because the tumor is affecting her right side more severely. She gets dizzy if she moves her head side-to-side, so she has to move her upper body instead. Her balance is a little off. She'll be able to play only a few minutes at a time on Nov. 2.
Even with all of that, she refuses to think of it as her one and only game.
"She says, 'I hate that. If I can play one more game, I'm playing one more game,'" Lisa Hill said. "If she's upright and able, she'll still be out there."
Jim Thorpe's body will stay in the Pennsylvania town where he was laid to rest six decades ago after a federal appeals court Thursday threw out a ruling that could have resulted in his reburial on American Indian land in Oklahoma.
The famed athlete's surviving sons have been fighting to move the body to Sac and Fox land in the state where he was born, saying their father expressed a desire to be buried in Oklahoma. A federal judge agreed with them, ruling the town of Jim Thorpe amounted to a museum under a 1990 law intended to rectify the historic plundering of American Indian burial grounds.
But the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday that Thorpe's body should remain in Jim Thorpe, determining that U.S. District Judge Richard Caputo misapplied the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. The law requires museums and federal agencies possessing American Indian remains to return them upon request of the deceased's family or tribe.
"Thorpe's remains are located in their final resting place and have not been disturbed," the appeals court said in its ruling. "We find that applying (the repatriation law) to Thorpe's burial in the borough is such a clearly absurd result and so contrary to Congress's intent to protect Native American burial sites that the borough cannot be held to the requirements imposed on a museum under these circumstances."
Thorpe's son, Bill Thorpe, 86, of Fort Worth, Texas, said he's disappointed by the court's ruling and will consider an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"We wanted him where he wanted to be, but it doesn't sound like it's going to happen," he said.
Thorpe was a football, baseball and track star who won the decathlon and pentathlon in the 1912 Olympics. He died without a will in 1953 at age 64.
After Oklahoma's governor balked at the cost of a planned monument to the athlete, third wife Patricia had Thorpe's body removed during his funeral service and sent it to northeastern Pennsylvania. She struck a deal with two merging towns — Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk — to build a memorial and name the new town after him. His remains are kept in a roadside mausoleum surrounded by statues and interpretive signage.
The borough on the western edge of Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains is popular with tourists and frequently appears on lists of America's prettiest towns, but few come specifically to visit Thorpe's memorial, and the town's economy is not dependent on its connection to the man.
Nevertheless, Jim Thorpe throws a Jim Thorpe birthday bash every year, celebrating his legacy as one of the 20th century's greatest athletes, and the high school's athletic teams are named the Olympians.
Anne Marie Fitzpatrick, a shop owner who organizes the annual Thorpe celebration, said she's "been on a high all day" after learning the mausoleum would stay.
"He can rest in peace," she said. "That was the most important thing: leave him alone."
Though he lost his bid to get the grave moved, Bill Thorpe didn't appear to hold a grudge against the town.
"It's been a good place, he said. "They've taken good care of him and continued the name."
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Salvador Perez shouted at Hunter Strickland, who shouted right back. The Kansas City Royals streamed from their dugout, the San Francisco Giants from their own. And for a tense moment in the sixth inning Wednesday night, Kauffman Stadium was consumed by chaos.
The one thing that was clear? The World Series suddenly had some life.
Perez broke open Game 2 with a two-run double in a five-run sixth, and the Royals' cast of clutch relievers kept the Giants in check for a 7-2 victory that evened the Series and spiced things up as it shifts to San Francisco for three games.
"We showed them that we have fight in us, and I think they knew that already," said Billy Butler, whose RBI single in the sixth inning gave the Royals a 3-2 lead. "But we stepped up big there as a team, and that gave us some confidence."
Jeremy Guthrie will be on the mound Friday night for the Royals, who had won eight straight playoff games before a 7-1 loss in the opener. Tim Hudson will start for San Francisco.
"With their pitching and our pitching, and the way both teams play, we're going to have a fight, I think, every game," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
So much talk of fighting after the two teams nearly came to blows Wednesday.
The Royals had surged ahead on Butler's single when Perez followed with a double off Strickland into the left-field gap. Omar Infante then scorched a pitch into the bullpen in left, the fifth homer that Strickland had allowed to 23 postseason batters.
Boiling over with anger, Strickland yelled into his glove then got into a shouting match with Perez as the big, burly catcher headed for home. Players spilled out of both dugouts, and several Royals streamed in from the outfield bullpen before the umpires finally restored order.
"He started to look at me, so I asked him like, 'Hey, why you look at me?'" Perez said. "So he was telling me, 'Get out of here, whatever.' So I don't know. 'You don't have to treat me like that. Look at Omar. Omar hit a bomb. I didn't hit a bomb. I hit a double.'"
Strickland said he simply let his frustration get to him.
"I let the team down," he said. "My emotions got to me."
With his 100 mph fastball singeing the Giants' batters, Royals flamethrower Yordano Ventura allowed two runs while pitching into the sixth inning. The 23-year-old protege of Pedro Martinez hardly looked like the first rookie to make a World Series start for the Royals, calmly handling a lineup that had ravaged staff ace James Shields.
The dynamic trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland did the rest.
Herrera got the final two outs of the sixth to escape a jam, his first three pitches clocking at least 100 mph. He also survived a shaky seventh before Davis breezed through the eighth.
Greg Holland, who saved each game in the Royals' sweep of Baltimore in the AL Championship Series, allowed a two-out single to Brandon Crawford before fanning Gregor Blanco to end the game.
The Giants' only runs came on a homer by Blanco and a double by Brandon Belt, their streak of seven straight World Series wins ending on a crisp, breezy night.
"For us to leave here with a split, you like to get greedy," Bochy said, "but we know it's going to be a tough series."
Early on, it looked as if the Giants could have a big lead heading back to the Bay Area.
The fleet-footed Blanco silenced a rollicking sea of blue, becoming the 10th player to open a World Series game with a home run. He deposited Ventura's 98 mph fastball in the bullpen in right field, just his 17th home run in more than 2,300 at-bats.
The crowd, energized from the moment that Hall of Famer George Brett delivered the ceremonial first pitch, was left waiting for something good to happen for the second straight night.
This time, the scrappy Royals gave it to them.
ALCS MVP Lorenzo Cain stretched a two-out double later in the first, and Eric Hosmer walked on four pitches. Butler, Giants starter Jake Peavy's long-time nemesis, then bounced a single past the outstretched glove of Crawford at shortstop to knot the game 1-all.
The Royals kept the pressure on in second. Infante doubled over the head of Travis Ishikawa in left field, and Escobar sliced a two-out double down the right-field line to give Kansas City a 2-1 lead, its first in the World Series since Game 7 in 1985.
The Giants, so accustomed to October baseball, refused to back down.
Belt tied it in the fourth with a double that bounced off Nori Aoki's glove in right field.
The game was still knotted at 2 when the Royals got their first two batters aboard in the sixth. Bochy pulled the fiery Peavy. Butler promptly hit a go-ahead single off Jean Machi, and Strickland came in two batters later.
From there, well, the Royals showed they still had plenty of fight left.
PLENTY OF PITCHERS
The Giants matched a Series record by using five pitchers in one inning. The other teams to burn through as many pitchers did so in Game 7 losses: The Cardinals against the Royals in '85, and the Orioles against the Pirates in 1979, according to STATS.
Giants: Hudson has appeared in 12 postseason games and started 11 of them, first with Oakland and then Atlanta. But he's never been on the mound in the World Series.
Royals: Guthrie, an 11-year veteran, did not pitch in the Royals' sweep of the Angels in the ALDS. He made his first career postseason start in the ALCS against the Orioles.