Korvotney Barber Drowns: Former Auburn Basketball Star Dies in Gulf

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Monday, 22 Jul 2013 11:14 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Korvotney Barber, former Auburn University basketball star, died over the weekend after an apparent drowning in the Gulf of Mexico off Panama City.

Despite the double red flag conditions that closed the local beaches, Barber, 26, went swimming with his wife and a friend on a beach behind the Boardwalk Beach Resort Saturday night. He was reported missing around 7 p.m.

Barber's body washed ashore Sunday afternoon, Panama City Beach Cpl. Jason Gleason told USA Today. Though his death is believed to be an accident, a medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

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Barber averaged 12.8 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 2008-09 during his senior year at Auburn in Alabama, where he played under head coach Jeff Lebo.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the devastatingly tragic and untimely death of Korvotney Barber," Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said in a statement reported by USA Today. "The Auburn Family remembers Vot as a relentless competitor with the heart of a champion. More importantly, those who knew him best remember him as a caring father who deeply loved his children and his family. Korvotney's family and friends will remain in our thoughts and prayers during this profoundly sad time."

Barber's former teammates spoke out about the loss of their "brother."

"The first time I stepped on campus at Auburn I didn't even know him," Lucas Hargrove told AL.com. "He walked up to me and helped me move my things into my apartment. There wasn't a phone call, people weren't on social media. I had never seen this guy and as soon as I got to campus, he's outside helping me and my mama move into my apartment. That's the kind of bond you're talking about."

"We were like brothers," Josh Dollard told AL.com. "We called each other every day. He was a real high-spirited dude. He was the type of dude that, when you're around him, all you're going to get is laughs. He's always cracking jokes, making me people smile."

Others took to Twitter to mourn Barber's tragic death.

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