Officials: Ex-Auburn basketball player Korvotney Barber drowned

Patrick Patterson (left) of the Kentucky Wildcats tips the ball against Korvotney Barber (right) of the Auburn Tigers during the SEC game at Rupp Arena on January 21, 2009 in Lexington, Kentucky. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. Former Auburn basketball player Korvotney Barber has died of an apparent drowning, authorities said Sunday.

A passerby found the 26-year-old's body at 3:49 p.m. Sunday between Boardwalk Beach Resort Condominiums and Top of the Gulf condos, said Panama City Beach Cpl. Jason Gleason. He said police believe Barber drowned but his body has been released to the medical examiner to determine the exact cause of death.

Barber, who is from Manchester, Ga., went missing Saturday about 7 p.m., Gleason said. Barber averaged 10.9 points and 7.2 rebounds during his four-year Auburn career ending in 2008-09.

Only the second McDonald's All-American signed by the Tigers, Barber was the only SEC player to average a double-double in league play as a senior.

Current Auburn coach Tony Barbee said he just met Barber but was impressed.

"The Auburn basketball program is deeply saddened to lose one of its great players in Korvotney `Vot' Barber," Barbee said in a statement released through Auburn. "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."

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said those close to Barber "remember him as a caring father who deeply loved his children and his family."

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the devastatingly tragic and untimely death of Korvotney Barber," Jacobs said.

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