By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Washington University in St. Louis is mourning the loss of basketball player Justin Hardy. He was 22.
An official cause of death has not been announced yet. However, according to his father Bob Hardy on Twitter, Hardy had been battling cancer in recent months.
“After 13 months of courageously redefining what it means to live with cancer, Justin passed peacefully early this morning, Sunday, May 29th,” Hardy said in a tweet. “Visitation and celebration events will be Thursday and Friday this week. More details will be provided soon.
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“In place of flowers, we encourage donations to the #HardyStrong GoFundMe. The funds will be used for medical and memorial expenses, with the majority put towards the HardyStrong Scholarship — a fund for high school graduates competing athletically in college who share Justin’s grit, determination, and all-around excellence.”
He had been diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer in April 2021. Despite receiving cancer treatments, he had still competed with his team when he could play.
According to his GoFundMe, which has raised $141,125 to date, the senior graduated early with a double major.
“Our deepest condolences go out to Justin Hardy’s family on his passing.” the school said in a statement. “We are devastated by this loss but comforted by the manner in which he lived his life. Justin’s love for the game of basketball, competition, and his teammates made him truly special. We were fortunate to be brought along on his journey. He showed us what it means to be others focused – 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 winning really means. We have the awesome responsibility to carry forward his legacy of relentless positivity. To respond to even the toughest of circumstances with the strength and courage that Justin did. In his own words: “If you want to win, just give me the ball.”
Hardy’s story was profiled in an ESPN’s SportsCenter Featured in March.
“This is me living my life regardless of the circumstances,” Hardy said in the feature. “If this isn’t beating it, I don’t know what is.”
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