Auburn, Ala.--Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs and head men’s basketball coach Tony Barbee issued a statement on Sunday night, mourning the loss of former Tiger player Korvotney Barber.
Barber drowned this weekend while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico in Panama City, Fla.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the devastatingly tragic and untimely death of Korvotney Barber,” Jacobs said. “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."
Barbee said, “The Auburn basketball program is deeply saddened to lose one its great players in Korvotney ‘Vot’ Barber. 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.”
Vot Barber is shown in action while playing at Auburn.
Barber, who has been playing professional basketball in Europe, was a 6-7 forward who competed for Coach Jeff Lebo’s Auburn teams from 2005-06 through the 2008-2009 season. He averaged 6.8 points and 4.8 rebounds as a freshman, 11.3 points and 6.6 rebounds as a sophomore, 13.8 points and 6.9 rebounds as a junior.
As a senior he led the Tigers to a 24-12 record with averages of 12.8 points and 9.6 rebounds while being named second team All-SEC by the league's coaches and the AP. Jeff Lebo, who recruited Barber to Auburn and coached him for four seasons, noted after Barber's senior season that he "really, really improved" during his time at Auburn and that the forward/center was a player worthy of respect because he played the game with so much intensity and hustle.
Barber earned a degree in public administration in May 2009. On that day he told Inside the Auburn Tigers, “It was a very happy day for me and my family when I received my degree. I am in the first person in my family to graduate from a four-year college.”
Barber, a high school All-American at Manchester, Ga., High School, said the Auburn experience was a good one. “I matured a lot at Auburn.
“From a basketball perspective I had to grow up fast because when I came in we had just one senior on the team,” he added. “That helped me both on and off the court.”