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Former St. X, Butler star to be honored at Heart Ball

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Joel Cornette had a front row seat to history, as he watched his son Joel and his fellow Butler Bulldogs knock off the mighty Hoosiers of Indiana University.

The younger Cornette played the part of the hero, dunking home a game winning put-back with just seconds remaining.

"As a father you get it. It's exciting to watch them succeed, and he did."

Known by friends and family as "Joey", the former Saint Xavier and Butler star lived and breathed basketball.

He displayed a combination of force and finesse on the hardwood, but was a kindhearted, gentle giant off the court.

Cornette died suddenly over the summer from heart disease.

He was just 35 years old.

"When you lose your parents, you lose your past. When you lose your children, you lose your future." said Cornette, "There isn't a day that goes by that we don't think about him, or talk about him."

On Saturday, the American Heart Association will honor Joel Cornette at its annual Heart Ball.

"Heart disease doesn't discriminate." said Sia Ruppert from the American Heart Association, "And that's really the message here. Joel was young, he was a prime athlete, and heart disease got him."

"If you feel any symptoms, don't wait, don't hesitate, seek medical attention right away." said Cornette, "If Joel would have done that, this story would have a different ending."

The elder Cornette recently had Joel's number 33 tattooed on his wrist, which serves as a daily reminder of his son.

"His favorite phrase was, we're still here, and we are, and he is."

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