Two NJ teens are arrested after college basketball player, 20, is shot dead sitting in Mercedes

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A pair of teens have been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a Division II basketball player at a New Jersey nature preserve last week.

Phil Urban, a 20-year-old freshman at Connecticut’s Post University, died last Saturday, after being shot and robbed at the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space’s Eames Preserve in Hopewell Township, a rural community that borders both the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.

Police said they found the six-foot-six standout from Manalapan slumped in the driver’s seat of his C-class Mercedes on a trail around 7pm.

Now, roughly a week later, officials in Mercer County say they have made their first arrests in relation to the case – taking in both a 16-year-old and 17-year-old Friday afternoon.

The two teenagers – who have not been named due to their age – are facing charges of murder, felony murder, robbery, and multiple weapons offenses. It is not yet clear if officials are treating the boys as adults. 

Two NJ teens are arrested after college basketball player, 20, is shot dead sitting in Mercedes

Phil Urban, 20, died last Saturday, after being shot and robbed at the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space’s Eames Preserve in Hopewell Township, a rural community that borders both the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas

Police said they found the six-foot-six standout from Manalapan slumped in the driver's seat of his C-class Mercedes on a trail around 7pm. Two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, were arrested in connection with the student athlete's death on Friday

Police said they found the six-foot-six standout from Manalapan slumped in the driver’s seat of his C-class Mercedes on a trail around 7pm. Two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, were arrested in connection with the student athlete’s death on Friday

Cops wrote in a heavily redacted arrest report that after a week of investigating, they discerned the pair had lured the New Jersey-born athlete to the preserve with the intention of robbing him of a quarter pound of marijuana worth roughly $800. 

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Both suspects, police said, will be held at a youth detention center pending their respective hearings. 

Urban was a first-year member of the men’s basketball team at the Connecticut school, located in Waterbury not far from North Jersey. He played in two games this season as a Freshman reserve off the bench, after receiving a basket scholarship after gradating from the prestigious Pennington School in Mount Vernon.

Police said they found the New Jersey native ‘slumped over’ in the driver’s seat of his luxury vehicle, which was parked on a trail at the sprawling reserve.

Police said they found the New Jersey native 'slumped over' in the driver's seat of his luxury vehicle, which was parked on a trail at the sprawling reserve

Police said they found the New Jersey native ‘slumped over’ in the driver’s seat of his luxury vehicle, which was parked on a trail at the sprawling reserve

He was taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said.

His death is being investigated by homicide detectives and no arrests have been made so far. 

At the time, authorities had said they believed the 204 lb. forward was planning to meet someone at the park.

Urban recently joined the team, cops and acquaintances of the slain student athlete said, and offered a pronounced presence in the team’s locker room

Urban (pictured) played for Post University in Connecticut before he was killed. Cops said suspects led him to the park to rob him a of a quarter pound of marijuana worth $800

Urban (pictured) played for Post University in Connecticut before he was killed. Cops said suspects led him to the park to rob him a of a quarter pound of marijuana worth $800

 In a tweet from April the school wrote: ‘WELCOME…Phil Urban. Phil is a 6’6 skilled wing from Manalapan NJ 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!’

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A former coach from the Pennington School – storied prep school in the garden state where tuition costs north of $40,000 – tweeted about Urban when he committed to Post earlier this year: ‘This kid has dealt with a lot of adversity in the last year, and if I told you how he handled it, you’d be proud too!’ 

Following his death Saturday, a spokesperson from the school told DailyMail.com said staffers ‘were shocked to learn late on Saturday evening’ of the incident. 

‘Phillip spent his junior and senior high school years at Pennington and was a valued member of the school community,’ staffers wrote. ‘He graduated last year and went on to matriculate at Post University in Connecticut.’

Head men’s coach Marc Kuntz remarked in a statement how the young man boasted a sense of humor that was contagious amongst the rest of the team.

‘Phil was well liked by everyone in the Post community. His quiet sense of humor was infectious and he was a valuable part of our basketball program,’ the staffer said. 

Phil Urban was shot at around 7pm Saturday at the Hopewell Valley Nature Preserve (pictured), the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement

Phil Urban was shot at around 7pm Saturday at the Hopewell Valley Nature Preserve (pictured), the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement

The six-foot-six athlete from Manalapan graduated from the prestigious Pennington School (pictured)

The six-foot-six athlete from Manalapan graduated from the prestigious Pennington School (pictured)

The school also released a statement at the time of his death, writing that ‘The Post University community was ‘heartbroken’ to learn of the death of the freshman student. 

‘As a member of the Men’s basketball team and a Business Administration major, Philip modeled the attributes of leadership, commitment and hard work on the court and in the classroom,’ the school wrote in an emotional post. 

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‘The Post University community expresses its deepest condolences and sympathy to Phil’s family, friends, teammates and all of those who loved him.’

Post University CEO and President John Hopkins added in a statement to SNBC13: ‘The Post University Community is heartbroken to learn of the death of freshman student Phil Urban last night. 

The school also released a statement at the time of his death, writing that 'The Post University community was 'heartbroken' to learn of the death of the freshman student

The school also released a statement at the time of his death, writing that ‘The Post University community was ‘heartbroken’ to learn of the death of the freshman student

Head men's coach Marc Kuntz remarked in a statement how the young man boasted a sense of humor that was contagious amongst the rest of the team

Head men’s coach Marc Kuntz remarked in a statement how the young man boasted a sense of humor that was contagious amongst the rest of the team

‘As a member of the Men’s basketball team and a Business Administration major, Philip modelled the attributes of leadership and commitment and hard work on the court and in the classroom.’

Urban’s death is currently under investigation. A bail amount for the two suspect has not been set. 

The pair are poised to appear in court in the coming weeks, cops said. DailyMail.com reached out to Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, which announced the arrest, Saturday afternoon, but did not immediately hear back. Cops are still probing the case.

Urban's death is currently under investigation. Bail for the two suspect has not been set. Urban is pictured playing for a local New Jersey team before starting at Post University this year

Urban’s death is currently under investigation. Bail for the two suspect has not been set. Urban is pictured playing for a local New Jersey team before starting at Post University this year

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