Justin Hardy, BSBA ’21, plays WashU basketball while fighting stage 4 stomach cancer
Justin Hardy, BSBA '21, graduated in December 2021.
Justin Hardy at his December 2021 graduation.

An amazing story about Olin alum and WashU athlete Justin Hardy, BSBA ’21, is making the rounds.

Hardy, 22, graduated in December after just three-and-a-half years—with a double major in accounting and finance while also playing a sport.

“What Justin is doing right now is a miracle,” Jack Nolan, a WashU basketball player who is teammate of Hardy, recently told television station KSDK-Channel 5’s Frank Cusumano.

What Hardy is doing is playing on while he battles stage 4 stomach cancer.

“Hardy is a really good basketball player,” KSDK reports. “He does all of the little things that makes teams great, and the Bears are just that. They are 12-1 on the season and are ranked No. 4 in the country.”

Hardy got the news of his cancer last April. At the time, he was dead lifting 450 pounds.

“The sadness was really tough at first just because I felt my life was kind of closing in on me,” Hardy told Cusumano in this piece, which aired January 17. “And there wasn’t going to be all the things that I loved in my life. I felt like most of things were gone and I was finished playing basketball.”

Hardy wasn’t finished. Athletes have come back after dealing with cancer, but how many play through the treatment?

‘Not like most’

“The prognosis isn’t pretty, but I am not like most,” he told KSDK. “This is pretty rare to see in a 21-year-old. My age and my health status are two things I really have going for me.

“You have to live your life. I am living in some of the best days of my life. This is one of the best years of my life that I have lived. I want to embrace the moment I am living in. Coming back and playing basketball and finishing my degree are two things that I really wanted to do.”

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5 Responses to "Justin Hardy, BSBA ’21, plays WashU basketball while fighting stage 4 stomach cancer"

  1. avatar Sue Kuse

    Remarkable story/person. Stay strong Justin and God bless. You are an inspiration.

  2. avatar George E Manter

    I have known several people with stage 4 stomach cancer, and they don’t have it anymore, they beat it. The main reason was their faith and belief God was going to heal them…..and he did. I know you are a very strong minded young man and you want to live. Please ask the Lord God to heal you. In the Bible Jesus stated, in the book of John, John 14:6, ” I am the way, the truth and the life”. I will ask the Lord to make his presents known to you and touch you and take away all of the cancer from your body. But, when he comes and he will, don’t forget to thank him. God loves you just ask. God bless you and keep going. Amen.

  3. avatar Doug Laws

    Thank you Justin for sharing your life story with us. Those of us who don’t personally know you are inspired and with you in prayer and spirit.

  4. avatar Frank Joseph Crist

    God Bless you young man!!!!

  5. avatar Larry gandal

    Incredible. What a story of strength and determination. Having played there (1961 grad) I follow the team on line. I know how well they are doing and what an important piece he is. But this is a remarkable story of courage and positive thinking.

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