One of the most popular and flamboyant Brooklyn Nets fans died on Sunday from head and spinal cord injuries he incurred after jumping out of a second-story window at his father’s house on Saturday night.
Jeffrey Gamblero, whose real name was Jeffrey Vanchiro, pumped up fans with his enthusiastic dancing at Nets games. His passionate cheerleading antics earned him an invitation to travel with the team to London in January for a regular season game against the Atlanta Hawks.
Nets CEO Brett Yormark expressed his condolences for the loss of Brooklyn’s super fan, saying that he was “saddened” by his death. “A proud Brooklynite, Jeffrey was a passionate Nets fan and one of our most visible and loyal supporters” he lamented. “I always enjoyed his enthusiasm while dancing and cheering during Nets games at Barclays Center. The entire organization expresses our deepest condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed.”
ESPN reported that at Tuesday night’s game against the Miami Heat at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the Nets will conduct a tribute for Gamblero.
An incident at Madison Square Garden on December 2 during a Knicks-Nets game may have triggered, or exhibited symptoms of, the emotional turmoil that led Gamblero to hurl himself through the window.
His fiancé Kristi Evans described the event at MSG in a YouTube video that quickly went viral. Gamblero, who lost a leg in an earlier accident, is seen being carried off by security guards from his seat at the Garden, leaving his prosthetic limb behind.
According to the Knicks, they removed Gamblero for disturbing some fans sitting close to him with his cheering and dancing. The video reveals that the guards dropped him and that his head was knocked a few times against the stairs when carrying him out of the arena.
“After that, he was a completely different person,” Evans maintains. “He was paranoid. He was erratic. He was frightened. He was horrified. He was a bit delusional. And he was having a lot of trouble sleeping. He couldn’t sleep at all. When he would sleep or try to sleep, it would only take about 10 to 15 minutes before he would wake up screaming, covered in sweat.”
Evans reached out to others to contact her on Twitter to share their remembrances of one of the Nets greatest fans.
@TwittsMcGee Kristi, I’m so sorry for your loss. Jeff was truly one of a kind! My deepest condolences to you and all his loved ones
— Irina Pavlova (@ipavlova) December 15, 2014
— Pamela S. Roth, Esq (@justiceavenger) December 15, 2014
— steven siegel (@sir_siegel69) December 15, 2014