July 21, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Korvotney Barber, a McDonald's high school basketball All-American who earned All-SEC honors at Auburn, drowned Saturday in Panama City Beach, police confirmed Sunday.
Barber, 26, played for Auburn from 2005-09 and played professionaly overseas.
"We are deeply saddened to learn of the devastatingly tragic and untimely death of Korvotney Barber," said Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs. "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."
Barber, 26, was reported missing Saturday after entering the waters off the beach. His body was found Sunday.
Barber averaged 10.9 points and 7.2 rebounds in his Auburn career. He earned All-SEC second-team honors and was named to the All-SEC Tournament team in 2009. Barber played for coach Jeff Lebo, but met with new coach Tony Barbee.
"The Auburn basketball program is deeply saddened to lose one its great players in Korvotney 'Vot' Barber,” Barbee said. "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."
Barber went on to play in France, Turkey and his last stop in Switzerland, averaging 13.2 points per game.
His former Auburn teammates expressed their loss on social media.
"Vot opened up the door for me to actually get a good scholarship in college..when the scouts came to see him they saw me," wrote Tay Waller. "Me and him grew up together.. played Rec league basketball baseball and football together...played on the same team in middle school and high school and college AND we played in the same pro league in Turkey last season..sad day for me and everybody who knew him..R.I.P bro."
Barber last played for Lugano in Switzerland, where team president Alexander Cedraschi called Barber's death a shock on an European website.
"He was a serious guy, always available," Cedraschi said. "He thought of his family who had been in America. He was here to work to meet the needs of their children. He was a really good person, as well as a great professional. I was glad to have known him.
"He was a really good guy. No matter what the sport, it is always a painful thing to lose someone like that."
Barber was from Manchester, Ga., and was a recruiting coup for the Tigers. He signed with Auburn over Kentucky.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine