Former Butler basketball star Joel Cornette dies at age 35

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Joel Cornette #33 of the Butler Bulldog takes a layup against the Arizona Wildcats during the Second round of the NCAA Tournament on March 18, 2001. Photo credit: Elsa/Allsport

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Just a few months after the passing of Andrew Smith, the Butler basketball program lost another member of their family,

Joel Cornette, a 2003 graduate of Butler University who was a key member of Butler’s first Sweet 16 team, passed away last night at the age of 35.

Butler Associate Athletic Director John Dedman released the following statement Tuesday morning:

“This morning, we spoke with the Cornette Family, who has confirmed that their beloved son and brother, Joel, passed away early this morning due to natural causes. They are shocked and devastated by this news. The Butler Family also mourns the loss of one of our favorite Bulldogs. Additional information will be released by the Cornette Family as it becomes available. Please join us in keeping the Cornette Family in your thoughts and prayers.”

During his time at Butler, Cornette scored 1,100 career points and pulled down 712 rebounds. His 144 career blocks and .544 career field goal percentages also rank among the top 10 in Butler history.

Cornette was NBPA-certified player-agent and served as the Director of Basketball Recruiting at Priority Sports since January, 2012.

Many of Cornette’s friends and fans have taken to Twitter to express their grief and condolences for the Cornette family.