Ex-Auburn basketball player Korvotney Barber drowns in Florida

July 22, 2013 at 1:39 AM
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Del., July 22 (UPI) -- Former Auburn basketball player Korvotney Barber, whose body was found on the beach in Panama City Beach, Fla., Sunday, apparently drowned, city police said.

Police Cpl. Jason Gleason said Barber's body was found on the beach by a member of the public at 3:49 p.m., the Opelika-Auburn News reported.

Barber, 26, had been swimming with family and friends Saturday night when he and two others were caught in an undertow, WFSA-TV, Montgomery, Ala., reported. While the companions made it to shore, Barber did not, the TV station said.

Efforts to find him Saturday night were unsuccessful.

The TV station said beaches had been closed to the public Saturday due to the danger currents.

"The Auburn basketball program is deeply saddened to lose one its great players in Korvotney 'Vot' Barber," Auburn Coach Tony Barbee said in a statement released through the university. "I was fortunate enough to meet Vot just last week when he stopped by my office to introduce himself to me. What an impressive guy. Our prayers are with his family and loved ones."

The 6-foot-8 Barber, a native of Manchester, Ga., who played for former Auburn Coach Jeff Lebo, averaged 10.9 points and 7.2 rebounds during his four years with the Tigers from 2005-09, the Opelika-Auburn News said.

He went on to play overseas for two years. He last played with the Lugano Tigers in Switzerland, averaging 13.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the devastatingly tragic and untimely death of Korvotney Barber," Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs said in a statement. "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."

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