Alabama Basketball Superfan Dies – The New York Times
A beloved superfan of the College of Alabama’s males’s basketball workforce died from problems of Covid-19, his mom mentioned Saturday.
Luke Ratliff hardly ever missed a sport and was recognized by the Crimson Tide group as “Fluffopotamus.” He died Friday night, his mom, Pamela Ratliff, mentioned. A senior on the College of Alabama, Mr. Ratliff was set to graduate in August. He was 23.
“He had a character that was larger than this world, by no means met a stranger,” Ms. Ratliff mentioned on Saturday.
Mr. Ratliff traveled to the boys’s N.C.A.A. basketball match in Indianapolis to cheer on the Crimson Tide till they misplaced to U.C.L.A. final weekend. He had lately gone by means of fast coronavirus testing a number of occasions, Ms. Ratliff mentioned, and the exams had come again damaging.
“He didn’t have any of the standard signs till the cough set on this week,” she mentioned.
Mr. Ratliff was finally handled for bronchitis and it was later found he had contracted Covid-19.
Followers have been allowed to fill venues for the match as much as 25 p.c of their regular capability. In response to Mr. Ratliff’s dying, the Marion County Public Well being Division mentioned in an announcement it might be investigating to find out “if anybody in Indianapolis might have been uncovered to COVID-19 by any Alabama resident who visited Indianapolis in current days.”
“We proceed to encourage residents and guests to observe the straightforward and vital habits that preserve us all protected: carrying a masks, washing fingers, and social distancing,” the division mentioned.
There have been an outpouring of tributes from the Crimson Tide group celebrating Mr. Ratliff.
“We’ll without end bear in mind our #1 fan,” Alabama Men’s Basketball said on Twitter. “We love you.”
Nate Oats, Alabama’s coach, mentioned Mr. Ratliff’s dying “doesn’t appear actual.”
“Fluff has been our greatest supporter since day one,” Oats said on Twitter. “Put all he had into our program. Beloved sharing this experience with him. You’ll be missed dearly my man! Want we had another victory cigar and hug collectively. Roll Tide Perpetually.”
Mr. Ratliff described his love for faculty basketball to The Tuscaloosa Information earlier this 12 months.
“Faculty basketball is completely different as a result of it’s actually proper in entrance of you: You may see it, you possibly can contact it, you possibly can go to it 16 house video games a 12 months. It’s tangible, that’s what’s endeared me to it,” Mr. Ratliff instructed the outlet, discussing his desire for the sport over soccer.
On March 31, Mr. Ratliff chronicled Alabama males’s basketball season on Twitter, posting his personal private highlights from the season.
“I’ll end faculty having attended 44 of the tide’s previous 45 convention and postseason video games, together with 42 in a row,” Mr. Ratliff wrote. “What a freaking experience it’s been.”
Mr. Ratliff is survived by his mother and father and two brothers.
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