Basketball Star Justin Hardy Dead At Age 22

Screenshot/YouTube/KSDK News

Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
Font Size:

A 22-year-old basketball star who helped lead his team to the 2022 NCAA tournament while battling terminal stomach cancer died Sunday.

Justin Hardy helped lead the Washington University basketball team to the post-season with his tenacity and sheer dedication to overcome his terminal cancer diagnosis, according to Huffpost. He continued to play in spite of dramatic weight loss, and averaged 11.1 points per game. Hardy played in 21 games in spite of his ailing condition, the outlet reported. Hardy’s father, Bob, announced his son’s death on Twitter.

“After 13 months of courageously redefining what it means to live with cancer, Justin passed peacefully early this morning,” he wrote.

Hardy underwent surgery for a perforated ulcer, and later received the shocking diagnosis of terminal stomach cancer in April 2021. In spite of the devastating news, Hardy, who had graduated early with a double major, pressed forward and held the second-highest scoring average on his team, according to Huffpost. He contributed to the success of the team greatly, and they went on to make it to the second round of the Division III NCAA Tournament, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Biden Relaunching Obama-Era Program Aimed At Beating Cancer)

Hardy was featured by ESPN a number of times. “This is me living my life regardless of the circumstances,” he said during an interview with the network in February. “If this isn’t beating it, I don’t know what is.”

Hardy’s father shared that visitation and celebration events will be held in his son’s honor June 2 and 3.

“In place of flowers, we encourage donations to the #HardyStrong  GoFundMe. The funds will be used for medical & memorial expenses, with the majority put towards the HardyStrong Scholarship – a fund for high school graduations competing athletically in college who share Justin’s grit, determination, and all-around excellence,” his father tweeted.