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Former Stag Rich Flemming shot, killed in Philly

Updated 12:38 am, Wednesday, January 30, 2013
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Former Fairfield University men's basketball player Rich Flemming was killed Sunday evening in Philadelphia. Flemming played for the Stags during the 2006-07 season before leaving the program because of a lack of playing time.

According to the report provided by the Philadelphia Police department, Flemming 25, who lived at 3600 E. Street, was shot in the chest, back and thigh at 5:51 p.m. in the 600th block of East Ontario Street by Vihn Ly, 28, of 1400 Jackson St. Flemming was pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m. at Temple University Hospital.

Police said that Ly was arrested and was charged with murder and other related offenses. The police spokesperson would not specify but did say that there was some kind of confrontation between the two before the gunshots were fired.

Flemming was a 6-foot-7 forward who hailed from Upland, Pa. He started off the season in a reserve role for head coach Ed Cooley, but halfway through the season broke into the starting lineup. He made eight starts, including a nine-point, 22-minute effort against Providence on December 4, 2006. However, Flemming's offense never materialized on a consistent basis and he found himself back as a reserve.

"He was one of our better natural athletes, but it just didn't work out for him in that first year," said Cooley when he was announced that Flemming was leaving. "He wanted more playing time, and I couldn't promise him that. (Flemming's) upside is tremendous, but I just couldn't guarantee the kind of minutes he wanted."

In his one season with the Stags, Flemming averaged 2.0 points and 10.6 minutes a game. Flemming transferred to University of Maryland-Baltimore County, sitting out the 2007-08 season. He played one year for the Retrievers in 2008-09, averaging 21.8 minutes and 6.7 points.

Former Fairfield player Herbie Allen tweeted: "R.I.P Rich Flemming. I feel like I lost a brother ... you'll be missed most definitely." Another former Stag, Yorel Hawkins, tweeted: #RIP Rich Flemming..U weren't my teammate but u made my visit THAT much better." Cooley, now the Providence head coach, said in a text message: "Very sad. Very, very sad."

celsberry@ctpost.com

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