A beloved superfan of the College of Alabama’s males’s basketball crew died from issues of Covid-19, his mom mentioned Saturday.
Luke Ratliff not often 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 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 lately gone by fast coronavirus testing a number of occasions, Ms. Ratliff mentioned, and the exams had come again adverse.
“He didn’t have any of the standard signs till the cough set on this week,” she mentioned.
Mr. Ratliff was ultimately handled for bronchitis and it was later found he had contracted Covid-19.
Followers have been allowed to fill venues for the event up to 25 percent of their regular capability. In response to Mr. Ratliff’s loss of life, the Marion County Public Well being Division mentioned in an announcement 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 current days.”
“We proceed to encourage residents and guests to apply the easy and necessary habits that preserve us all secure: sporting a masks, washing arms, and social distancing,” the division mentioned.
There have been an outpouring of tributes from the Crimson Tide group celebrating Mr. Ratliff.
“We are going to endlessly 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 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 journey with him. You’ll be missed dearly my man! Want we had yet one more victory cigar and hug collectively. Roll Tide Perpetually.”
Mr. Ratliff described his love for school basketball to The Tuscaloosa News earlier this yr.
“School basketball is totally different as a result of it’s actually proper in entrance of you: You’ll be able to see it, you possibly can contact it, you possibly can go to it 16 dwelling video games a yr. It’s tangible, that’s what’s endeared me to it,” Mr. Ratliff instructed 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’ll end school 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 journey it’s been.”
Mr. Ratliff is survived by his dad and mom and two brothers.