ST. LOUIS – Washington University basketball player Justin Hardy passed away from stomach cancer on Sunday at age 22.
“Our deepest condolences go out to Justin Hardy’s family on his passing,” the team said. “We are devastated by this loss but comforted by the manner in which he lived his life.”
Hardy was diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach in April of 2021. His first rounds of chemotherapy caused Hardy to lose 50 pounds. He thought he would have to sit out his final season, but his doctor gave him the all-clear call to return to play. While the Bears went on a 13-game win streak, he scored 28 points in two separate games. This was a career-high for him.
He stepped onto the court for the last time during the Bears’ last regular-season game against the University of Chicago. Hardy scored the last points of the regular season. The Bears punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament but didn’t manage to make it to the Sweet 16.
“Justin’s love for the game of basketball, competition and his teammates made him truly special,” the Bears said.
There will be a visitation for Hardy near his hometown, a suburb of Chicago. The visitation will take place on Thursday at Yurs Funeral Home in Geneva, Illinois. A celebration of his life will take place on Friday at St. Charles East High School in St. Charles, Illinois.
His father, Bob, tweeted information about Friday’s Legacy Celebration saying, “Justin wished for an upbeat, casual celebration where everyone wears their favorite jersey or team apparel. This will be a time to hear about the immense impact Justin has had.”
In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations be made to the HardyStrong Scholarship.