Joel Cornette (1981 - 2016)

Joel Cornette, a former standout basketball player for Butler University, died Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016, in a Chicago apartment, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. He was 35.

The office said Cornette was found dead at 1:02 a.m. Tuesday. It also said an autopsy was pending.

Butler University officials issued a news statement: "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."

Cornette, who scored more than 1,000 points in four seasons, helped Butler become one of the country's perennial NCAA Tournament team. In 2003, he helped the Bulldogs make the tournament's Sweet 16 -- a first in 41 years. Cornette had more than 700 rebounds during his collegiate career.

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Cornette is the second prominent former Butler basketball player to die at a young age within the last seven months. Andrew Smith, Butler's star center and one of the main players on two teams that went to the national championship game, died Jan. 12 of cancer, according to ESPN. He was 25.

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