Josh Hill, a senior and a member of the Yale men’s basketball team, was killed in a car accident May 27 in Estelle Manor Township, N.J., near Atlantic City.

A memorial service was held today in Sanford, Del. The cause of the accident is still unknown.

“This is a devastating loss to the Yale community, particularly to the students and the athletic family,” Yale Athletic Director Tom Beckett said. “Josh [Hill] was a popular and energizing force of the Yale community.”

Hill, a native of Wilmington, Del., was recruited to play for the Bulldogs in 2000 out of the Sanford School. The 6-foot-7 center missed most of the 2002-03 season and all of 2003-04 because of a hernia but planned on returning to the squad this winter.

“[Hill] was a tremendous player and even a better person,” Yale men’s basketball head coach James Jones said. “He was the kind of guy that made everyone laugh and put everyone at ease.”

As a sophomore, Hill played a key role in the Elis’ 2001-2002 Ivy League Championship run. He came off the bench in all 32 contests that season, averaged 4.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. In the Bulldogs’ league playoff game against the University of Pennsylvania, Hill scored a team-high 14 points. Earlier that winter, he recorded a career-high 21 points against Brown.

But the coaches agree that Hill’s impact on the Yale squad cannot be measured in numbers alone. As one of the Elis’ emotional leaders, he will be remembered by those he played with, above all, for his spirit and determination.

“[Hill] was our energy guy,” Jones said. “He would come in and ignite our runs. He was always willing to give up his body. He did a lot for us.”

In his four years at Sanford, Hill helped his team to an undefeated conference record (32-0) and earned first-team All-State selections for both his junior and senior seasons in 1999 and 2000, respectively.

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