Connecticut college basketball player shot dead at New Jersey nature preserve

A Connecticut college basketball star was fatally shot over the weekend at a New Jersey nature preserve, according to officials. 

Phil Urban, a 6-foot-6 forward at Post University in Connecticut, was shot in Hopewell Township, New Jersey, on Saturday, about 30 miles away from his native Manalapan Township.

Urban, 20, was found “slumped over” in the driver’s seat of a white Mercedes vehicle around 7 p.m. on Saturday, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said. 

He was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound a short time later. 

According to a preliminary investigation, Urban had arranged to meet an acquaintance at the preserve. He “was shot at some point during the encounter,” prosecutors said.

The shooting is under investigation as a homicide.

No arrests have been made and officials are asking for anyone with information to come forward.

Post University CEO & President John L. Hopkins said the community was “heartbroken” to learn of Urban’s death.

Urban “modeled the attributes of leadership, commitment and hard work on the court and in the classroom” as a member of the men’s basketball team and as a business administration major, Hopkins said. “We hope that his family, friends and those affected by his passing will find strength during this extremely difficult time.” 

Hopkins said counseling resources will be available to support students and staff.  

Urban was a freshman, according to Post University’s 2022-23 basketball roster. 

Post University’s basketball team welcomed him back in April on Twitter, calling him a “skilled wing” who “can play multiple positions. 

“We are excited about what Phil will add to our team both as a player and person. Welcome to the nest, Phil!” the statement said at the time.

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