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Former Wisconsin Basketball Player Walt McGrory Dies at 24

Former Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball player Walt McGrory has died at the age of 24 following a battle with bone cancer, according to a statement shared on his Instagram account Monday (December 18).

"Walt became one with the Divine on Saturday, December 16, 2023," the post states. "His soul was freed to continue his great mission - to live and help others live full, healthy lives. Walt has always known there is something greater out there. Something with the full power to shape the world. His journey with osteosarcoma was not easy, but it helped him find that ultimate power source. He never gave up on his belief that he and others just like him could heal themselves. His mission has not changed. He is still providing inspiration, love, and fight to those who need it. But now he is doing it with the whole power of the universe behind him. Whenever you need more strength in your life, open your heart and Walt will be there."

McGrory appeared in 37 games as a reserve player during his collegiate tenure at Wisconsin from 2017 to 2021, which included the Badgers' 2019-20 season in which the team won a share of the Big Ten regular-season title. The former guard initially planned to transfer to South Dakota in April 2021 before being diagnosed with osteosarcoma months later.

McGrory chronicled his cancer battle on his social media accounts. Wisconsin coach Greg Gard shared a statement in response to his former player's death on Monday.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Walt McGrory," Gard said. "The courage and fight that Walt demonstrated throughout his two-year battle with cancer was an inspiration to us all. Walt never quit. Instead, he chose to fight every day and made the most of his circumstances by sharing his journey and inspiring others. Walt was a beloved member of our team and the Badger family, and we will miss him dearly."

McGrory scored a school-record 2,216 points at Edina High School in Minnesota, which included averaging 26.3 points, eight rebounds and six assists during his senior season, opting to walk on at Wisconsin over scholarship offers from several mid-major programs.

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