By Anthony Caruso III | Editor
Washington University in St. Louis is mourning the loss of basketball player Justin Hardy. He was 22 years old.
An official cause of death has yet to be announced. However, according to his father Bob Hardy on Twitter, Hardy had been battling cancer for the past few months.
“After 13 months of courageously redefining what it means to live with cancer, Justin passed away peacefully early this morning, Sunday, May 29,” Hardy said in a tweet. “The visitation and celebration events will take place on Thursday and Friday this week. More details will be provided soon.
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“In lieu of flowers, we encourage donations to the #HardyStrong GoFundMe. Funds will be used for medical and memorial expenses, with the majority going to the HardyStrong Scholarship – a fund for high school graduates in college athletic competition who share Justin’s courage, determination and excellence.
He had been diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer in April 2021. Despite cancer treatments, he had always competed with his team when he could play.
According to his GoFundMe, which has raised $141,125 so far, the senior graduated early with a double major.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Justin Hardy on his passing.” the school said in a statement. “We are devastated by this loss but heartened by the way he lived his life. Justin’s love for basketball, competition and his teammates made him truly special. We were blessed to be accompanied on his journey. He showed us what it means to be other-centered – what it means to be a great teammate.
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“Justin taught us many lessons, including how to deal with adversity and what it really means to win. We have a heavy responsibility to carry on his legacy of relentless positivity. Respond to even the most difficult circumstances with strength and courage of Justin. In his own words, “If you want to win, just give me the ball.”
Hardy’s story was featured in ESPN’s SportsCenter featured in March.
“It’s me living my life no matter what,” Hardy said in the feature. “If that’s not beating him, I don’t know what is.”
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