The Nets Superfan Who Was Ejected from MSG Is Dead After Jumping Out 2nd Floor Window

brooklyn nets superfan jeffrey vanchiro jeff gamblero dead

According to multiple reports, the well-known Brooklyn Nets superfan who was ejected from Madison Square Garden back on December 2—yes, the guy who took off his prosthetic leg—has died. His legal name was Jeffrey Vanchiro, but his Nets superfan name was Jeff Gamblero. He was 38.

Apparently Vanchiro was staying at his father’s house in Queens on Saturday night when he randomly jumped out of a second story window, suffering severe head and spinal injuries. On Sunday afternoon, the New York Times reported that he was in critical condition at New York Hospital Queens, and on Sunday night Vanchiro’s girlfriend, Kristi Evans, announced his death via Twitter.

Frankly, this whole story is so sad and bizarre that, at first, I thought it was a hoax.

Last week, Vanchiro gave a pretty silly interview to ESPN New York about getting kicked out of MSG that made it all seem like a well-orchestrated publicity stunt:

“I’m Jeffrey Vanchiro right now. I’m looking for Jeffrey Gamblero. If you find him, let me know. … I’m alive. I’m not my normal self, but I’m working towards getting back to that. I have a lot of recovery to do: physically, mentally, emotionally.”

And a quote from his girlfriend in the New York Times article about Vanchiro’s recent mental state seems to echo his earlier statements:

“After that, he was a completely different person. 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.”

The idea that an otherwise healthy person could be severely traumatized by getting kicked out of a basketball game is fairly ridiculous. Vanchiro was at the Nets game on Saturday night, and by all accounts he was his usual neon dancing Jeff Gamblero self.

So, like I said, at first I thought this might be a hoax. However, the New York Times article says the hospital listed his condition as critical, and that Evans was interviewed there. So unless the hospital is in on it, it would seem this is all too real.

How terribly sad. Our condolences to Evans and the Vanchiro family.

Hat Tip – [Deadspin]

Tags: Brooklyn Nets, fan deaths, Jeff Gamblero, NBA,