Killing of Pennington School grad leaves NJ asking questions

Killing of Pennington School grad leaves NJ asking questions

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP – The mysterious circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of a Pennington School graduate and college basketball player have people wondering why he was killed and why he wasn’t in Florida with his team.

Phil Urban, 22, of Manalapan, was found in the driver’s seat of a white Mercedes at a wildlife sanctuary in Hopewell Township around 7 p.m. Saturday, according to Mercer County Attorney Angelo Onofri.

Authorities said Sunday that Urban had planned to meet someone at the nature reserve and may have been shot during the meeting.

Casey DeBlasio, a spokesman for the Mercer County Attorney’s Office, told New Jersey 101.5 that there were no updates late Tuesday morning. DeBlasio did not reveal the identity of the acquaintance or the reason for their meeting.

Phil Urban (standing, second from left) with his college basketball team. (post university)

Phil Urban (standing, second from left) with his college basketball team. (post university)

Pennington graduate stayed home sick

Urban completed his junior and senior years at Pennington School before joining Post University. The 6-foot-6-inch forward played in his first collegiate game for the Post Eagles last month.

However, on the same day that Urban was murdered, the Post University men’s basketball team was in Lakeland, Florida for a tournament. A game summary on the team’s website says they upset 16-seed Florida Southern, 87-83, during Saturday’s 2022 Mocs Christmas Classic.

Urban also missed a game against Southern New Hampshire University on December 10, according to boxing records. Men’s head basketball coach Marc Kuntz told New Jersey 101.5 that the freshman missed that game due to illness.

CONTINUE READING: Pennington School graduate shot dead in NJ nature reserve

Kuntz also said the team shortened their list for their trip to Florida. Urban was not left out of the team but was left behind to continue his recovery and spend time with his family. The manager said the youngster is “still earning his way” to be included in long-distance travel.

“Phil has been very popular with everyone in the Post community. His quiet sense of humor was contagious and he was a valuable part of our basketball program,” Kuntz said in a statement.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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