Alabama Basketball Superfan Dies – The New York Occasions

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A beloved superfan of the College of Alabama’s males’s basketball workforce died from issues of Covid-19, his mom stated Saturday.

Luke Ratliff hardly ever missed a recreation and was identified by the Crimson Tide neighborhood as “Fluffopotamus.” He died Friday night, his mom, Pamela Ratliff, stated. A senior on the College of Alabama, Mr. Ratliff was set to graduate in August. He was 23.

“He had a character that was greater than this world, by no means met a stranger,” Ms. Ratliff stated on Saturday.

Mr. Ratliff traveled to the lads’s N.C.A.A. basketball event in Indianapolis to cheer on the Crimson Tide till they misplaced to U.C.L.A. final weekend. He had just lately gone by speedy coronavirus testing a number of occasions, Ms. Ratliff stated, and the checks had come again damaging.

“He didn’t have any of the everyday signs till the cough set on this week,” she stated.

Mr. Ratliff was finally handled for bronchitis and it was later found he had contracted Covid-19.

Followers had been allowed to fill venues for the event as much as 25 p.c of their regular capability. In response to Mr. Ratliff’s loss of life, the Marion County Public Well being Division stated in a press release it will be investigating to find out “if anybody in Indianapolis might have been uncovered to COVID-19 by any Alabama resident who visited Indianapolis in latest days.”

“We proceed to encourage residents and guests to follow the easy and necessary habits that hold us all protected: carrying a masks, washing palms, and social distancing,” the division stated.

There have been an outpouring of tributes from the Crimson Tide neighborhood celebrating Mr. Ratliff.

“We are going to ceaselessly keep in mind our #1 fan,” Alabama Men’s Basketball said on Twitter. “We love you.”

Nate Oats, Alabama’s coach, stated Mr. Ratliff’s loss of life “doesn’t appear actual.”

“Fluff has been our largest supporter since day one,” Oats said on Twitter. “Put all he had into our program. Liked sharing this trip with him. You’ll be missed dearly my man! Want we had yet one more victory cigar and hug collectively. Roll Tide Endlessly.”

Mr. Ratliff described his love for school basketball to The Tuscaloosa Information earlier this 12 months.

“Faculty basketball is totally different as a result of it’s actually proper in entrance of you: You may see it, you may contact it, you may go to it 16 dwelling 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 trip it’s been.”

Mr. Ratliff is survived by his dad and mom and two brothers.

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