The Brooklyn Nets honored superfan Jeffrey Vanchiro with pregame t-shirts on Tuesday.
Best known as Jeffrey Gamblero, Vanchiro received national attention after he was ejected without his prosthetic leg from a Nets-Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 2. Vanchiro was a popular figure at Nets games, frequently wearing bright neon shirts while dancing through the crowd. He even joined Brett Yormark, CEO of the Nets and the Barclays Center, on the team plane to a game in London last season.
On Saturday night, Vanchiro fell from a second-story window in Flushing, Queens. He was on a ventilator late Sunday afternoon, according to The New York Times.
Vanchiro was staying at his father’s house Saturday night. Vanchiro’s fiancée, Kristi Evans, who was with Vanchiro’s family at New York Hospital Queens on Sunday, said that Vanchiro’s father told her that Vanchiro awoke apparently disoriented and leapt from the building. Evans said that Vanchiro sustained severe brain damage and a fractured spinal cord in the fall, and that his brain had stopped functioning Sunday morning.
Evans, told the Times that since Vanchiro gained national attention following the incident at the Garden, he had been behaving erratically, having trouble sleeping and "was a bit delusional." Evans also said Vanchiro sustained minor head injuries and a sprained lower back when MSG officials carried him out of his seat.
The Times profiled Vanchiro in a November feature that detailed his passionate following of the Nets. After growing up in Queens, Vanchiro was "one of New York's most active graffiti writers" in the late 1990s, using the alias "Korn." Vanchiro was also a professional gambler at one point, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the Times. It was then that Vanchiro adopted the "Jeffrey Gamblero" moniker.
- Mike Fiammetta