December 21, 2006

Brother of Alabama's Jermareo Davidson dies

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. Dewayne Watkins, the brother of University of Alabama senior center Jermareo Davidson, died on Wednesday night at an Atlanta hospital. Watkins had been critically ill since November 7. Davidson learned of his brother's death when he returned to Tuscaloosa shortly before midnight from the Crimson Tide's flight back from a game at N.C. State.

"I have never known any student-athlete, from the time I was a player to now, who has had to endure so much heartache in such a short period of time," said Alabama basketball coach Mark Gottfried. "Our thoughts, our prayers and our hearts are with Jermareo, his mother Madonna, and his family."

Davidson is still mourning the death of his girlfriend and fellow University of Alabama student, Nikki Murphy. The two were in Atlanta visiting his brother at the hospital on November 11 when they were involved in an automobile accident on I-20. Murphy, who was driving, died the following morning. Davidson was taken to the hospital for minor injuries, but was treated and released.

The John R. Wooden candidate did not practice on Thursday as he went to be with his family and will likely remain with his family and miss practice on Friday. It is not known at this point if he will return in time for Saturday's 2 p.m. CT home game with Coppin State.

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