Whether you personally knew him or not, Cameron Luke Ratliff’s personality and love for the University of Alabama was special.
The 23-year-old superfan of Alabama men’s basketball died last week due to complications from COVID-19.
Ratliff was more than a student. He was a passionate individual, who like most of us, wanted to see the Crimson Tide’s basketball program soar.
Ratliff, also known as “Fluffopotamus,” became a fixture of the student section in Coleman Coliseum. Alabama went through names such as Anthony Grant and Avery Johnson as head coaches, but Ratliff always believed the sport he loved would soon make a run in the NCAA Tournament.
He got his wish this year, as Nate Oats delivered the Tide to its first SEC regular-season championship (since 2002) and SEC Tournament Championship (since 1991).
Ratliff would also see his team advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2004.
Many students, administrators, current basketball players, family members, and friends poured into the memorial last week to honor Ratliff.
Before he ended his presser on Wednesday, Nick Saban gave his condolences to Ratliff’s family in their loss.
“I know Luke Ratliff was a great fan here,” Saban said. “He loved the University of Alabama. “I just want his family to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all. This is certainly a difficult circumstance for all of us. He is certainly going to be missed. God bless you all.”
On Saturday, the Crimson Tide will have its second scrimmage of spring practice.
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