By Bob Allen

SLIPPERY ROCK (KDKA) – A local university is mourning the loss of two students who died over the weekend in separate incidents.

One of those students was 21-year-old Jack Hill Jr. He was running basketball conditioning drills when he collapsed and later died.

An autopsy was conducted to determine the cause of death.

The team’s coach said they were working slowly with Hill and it appears as if his death was an unexpected tragedy.

The Slippery Rock University basketball team practiced with heavy hearts at Morrow Field House on Tuesday. Players are still mourning the death of a teammate.

“It’s been rough but we’ve doing it together. We’ve been together a lot all weekend talking with other. Just getting through it together,” John Valeriano said.

It happened Friday night during conditioning drills. The 6-foot-2-inch 260-pound senior was starting to lose weight and get into playing shape when he collapsed.

“He just looked out of it and the next thing we know, he collapsed. So, we tried everything we could that we knew,” Tommy Kelly said.

“The doctors and trainers had cleared him. We were as cautious as we could have been. He was excited about [getting to condition with the team],” coach Kevin Reynolds said.

Hill was pronounced dead at a Grove City hospital Saturday morning. He was about to realize his dream of playing college basketball after being cut as a sophomore and being red-shirted during his junior year.

“He was definitely the kind of guy you root for. Just because he had qualities like he never would give up and he was just an all-around good guy,” Kelly said.

Slippery Rock University is chartering a bus to carry the team and students to the funeral in Roselle, N.J. on Friday.

The coach and players said they are dedicating this season to Hill.


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