A beloved superfan of the University of Alabama’s males’s basketball crew died from complications of Covid-19, his mom mentioned Saturday.
Luke Ratliff not often missed a sport and was recognized by the Crimson Tide neighborhood as “Fluffopotamus.” He died Friday night, his mom, Pamela Ratliff, mentioned. A senior at the University of Alabama, Mr. Ratliff was set to graduate in August. He was 23.
“He had a personality that was bigger than this world, never met a stranger,” Ms. Ratliff mentioned 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 not too long ago gone by speedy coronavirus testing a number of instances, Ms. Ratliff mentioned, and the assessments had come again damaging.
“He didn’t have any of the typical symptoms until the cough set in this week,” she mentioned.
Mr. Ratliff was finally handled for bronchitis and it was later found he had contracted Covid-19.
Fans have been allowed to fill venues for the event as much as 25 p.c of their regular capability. In response to Mr. Ratliff’s dying, the Marion County Public Health Department mentioned in an announcement it could be investigating to find out “if anyone in Indianapolis may have been exposed to COVID-19 by any Alabama resident who visited Indianapolis in recent days.”
“We continue to encourage residents and visitors to practice the simple and important habits that keep us all safe: wearing a mask, washing hands, and social distancing,” the division mentioned.
There have been an outpouring of tributes from the Crimson Tide neighborhood celebrating Mr. Ratliff.
“We will forever remember 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 seem real.”
“Fluff has been our biggest supporter since day one,” Oats said on Twitter. “Put all he had into our program. Loved sharing this ride with him. You’ll be missed dearly my man! Wish we had one more victory cigar and hug together. Roll Tide Forever.”
Mr. Ratliff described his love for faculty basketball to The Tuscaloosa News earlier this yr.
“College basketball is different because it’s literally right in front of you: You can see it, you can touch it, you can go to it 16 home games a year. It’s tangible, that’s what’s endeared me to it,” Mr. Ratliff advised the outlet, discussing his choice 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 will finish college having attended 44 of the tide’s past 45 conference and postseason games, including 42 in a row,” Mr. Ratliff wrote. “What a freaking ride it’s been.”
Mr. Ratliff is survived by his mother and father and two brothers.