A U.S. college basketball star who traveled overseas to continue his dream of playing hoops was attacked in a bar in Romania and died, according to authorities.
Chauncey Hardy, a 23 year-old standout player at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., suffered severe head trauma after he was beset on by a group of men in the bar while celebrating a post-game victory.
According to New York Post wire services, Hardy was admitted to a Bucharest hospital after he was attacked by the boyfriend of a women he was flirting with and knocked out by a punch.
Officials claim the U.S. player was with teammates celebrating a win over a rival team in the southern city of Giurgiu when Hardy playfully put a cap on a woman he wanted to dance with.
The woman's boyfriend and some of his pals confronted Hardy-- who told them he did not understand Romanian-- right before the fight broke out.
Hardy was reportedly punched in the chin and hit the floor with his head.
He died shortly after undergoing surgery.
A Romanian news site said several of the men involved have ties to local mobsters.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of a fine young man who had his life cut short at such a young age while he was overseas doing something he loved," said Sacred Heart AD C. Donald Cook.
A preliminary autopsy showed a massive hemorrhage and broken skull. At first, doctors initially thought Hardy was in an alcohol-related coma before his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to the hospital, according to a Giurgiu county hospital official.
"We are concerned by the violent circumstances surrounding the death of this U.S. citizen, and will pay close attention as the investigation progresses," the public diplomacy department of the U.S. Embassy said in a statement.