Jeffrey Gamblero, a popular and recognizable Nets fan and season ticket holder known best for wearing colorful neon shirts and dancing around Brooklyn Nets games, has passed away due to injuries from a two-story fall, according to a tweet from his fiancee, Kristi Evans.
We lost a brilliant, unique, incredible man today. Please tell me your stories about Jeffrey Gamblero so I can share them with the world.
— Kristi Evans (@TwittsMcGee) December 15, 2014
Vanchiro was recently carried out of a Knicks game by guards, with his prosthetic leg coming off in the process.
Evans told the New York Times the incident seemed to have a profound impact on him. “After that, he was a completely different person,” Evans told the Times. “He was paranoid. He was erratic. He was frightened. He was horrified. He was a bit delusional. 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 or 15 minutes before he would jump up screaming covered in sweat.”
Vanchiro grew up in Queens, the Times reported, and last lived in Williamsburg, working as a street artist.
Gamblero fell two stories after jumping out of the window of his father’s apartment in Queens, according to Evans, via ESPN’s Mike Mazzeo:
Friday night in Brooklyn, Vanchiro was shown on the arena video boards dancing and enjoying himself. He later went to his fiancee’s nightclub, but something wasn’t right, Evans said. Still, Vanchiro danced a lot, and Evans figured it would relieve a lot of his stress.
The next day, Vanchiro went to a friend’s house, then told Evans he was going to stay with his father, Sylvester, that night. Evans told him she thought it would be a good idea, so Vanchiro could get some peace of mind. But an hour-and-a-half after Vanchiro arrived, Evans got a call from Sylvester saying Vanchiro had jumped out of a window.
“He’s never, ever exhibited any suicidal tendencies,” Evans said. “He jumped out of the bed, ran down the hallway … and then threw himself out of a window headfirst and landed on his head.”
The New York Post subsequently reported that one family member blamed the treatment Gamblero received from the Madison Square Garden security officers:
“The family believes that when they [security guards] dropped him on his head when they were escorting him, that is when the trouble started,” Jeffrey Vanchiro’s grieving relative — who asked that his name not be used — said.”
This is a video tribute about Gamblero created by Petra Pope of the Nets:
Nets CEO Brett Yormark released this official statement on his passing:
On behalf of ownership and the entire organization, I am terribly saddened to learn about Jeffrey’s death. A proud Brooklynite, Jeffrey was a passionate Nets fan and one of our most visible and loyal supporters. I was delighted that he joined the team on our trip to London last season and 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.