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One-legged Nets fan who was carried out of Madison Square Garden dies


Jeffrey Gamblero, the one-legged Nets fan who was carried from his seat by Madison Square Garden security after dancing in the aisles, died yesterday at age 38.

Mike Mazzeo of ESPN:
Jeffrey Gamblero, a popular Brooklyn Nets fan, died Sunday night due to injuries he sustained when he jumped out of a second-story window at his father’s house in Flushing, Queens, on Saturday night.

Gamblero, who was recently in the news after being taken out of Madison Square Garden by security without his prosthetic leg, sustained severe brain damage and a fractured spinal cord as a result of the fall, according to his fiancee, Kristi Evans.

Evans, in an interview earlier Sunday at the hospital, said she believed the Dec. 2 incident during a Nets-Knicks game at MSG changed Gamblero for the worse.

“After that, he was a completely different person,” an emotional Evans said. “He was paranoid. He was erratic. He was frightened. He was horrified. He was a bit delusional. And 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 to 15 minutes before he would wake up screaming, covered in sweat.”

The next day, Gamblero 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 Gamblero could get some peace of mind. But an hour-and-a-half after Gamblero arrived, Evans got a call from Sylvester saying Gamblero 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.”

Gamblero, whose given name was Jeffrey Vanchiro, spoke with at a recent Nets game and discussed his ordeal:


If you try to stay the same after a life-changing event, then you’re lying to yourself because when your life has changed, you are now a different person. I mean, I even got alter-egos going on and stuff, but I’m not going to get into detail because the world’s not ready for that.
I had the worst week of my life. You guys don’t understand. You don’t understand, because I haven’t said it yet, but now I’m going to talk, and now you’re going to understand. I’m putting myself through the same training from when I lost my leg. When my leg got chopped off, I was horror and trauma, and I had to just focus on getting back to what I had to do. It’s the same thing, man. I had a week in my house wrestling with demons and things, just figuring life out. Now, it’s like, alright, I’ve found my focus. I found my new passions