Mascoutah high school boy’s basketball coach and former St. Louis University basketball player Justin Love died on Tuesday morning. He was 41 years old.
Love was found unresponsive at St. Clair high school’s campus around 11:15 a.m. Tuesday morning, per Paul Halfacre of STL High School Sports. He was pronounced dead after being rushed to the hospital. No further details have been released as to the cause of death.
Love had a successful career at St. Louis University playing under coaches Charlie Spoonhour and Lorenzo Romar. He was a star for the Billikens. Love averaged 18.2 points per game in the 1999-00 season, good for fourth in the Conference USA that season.
Love signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Phoenix Suns after a successful collegiate career. The former St. Louis guard ended up playing professional basketball overseas for 12 years.
Our hearts are hurting today as we learn of the passing of a great Billiken, Justin Love. We send our deepest condolences to his family, friends, students and teammates.
Justin was MVP of the 2000 C-USA Championship and was inducted into the Billiken Hall of Fame in 2009. pic.twitter.com/RV4z3TRYtE
— SLU Men's Basketball (@SaintLouisMBB) June 23, 2020
Love was hired by Mascoutah High to be the boy’s basketball head coach in 2017. He went 55-42 as the team’s head coach.
Mascoutah director of athletics Scott Battas is in disbelief following Love’s sudden death. He called Coach Love a “genuine man, who led with passion and joy” in a heartbreaking message on Tuesday. You can find Battas’ message in the tweet below.
Words can’t express the pain we feel today on campus and in our community. Coach Love was a genuine man, who led with passion and joy. My memories of Justin are filled with that huge smile and his passion for people. We lost a great man today, and we will never, ever, forget him. pic.twitter.com/a5mUqbWjCf
— Scott Battas (@coachb83) June 23, 2020
Love clearly had a massive impact in both the St. Louis University and Mascoutah High communities. He will always be remembered by his positive attitude and incredible run with the St. Louis men’s basketball team two decades ago.