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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2006
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Davidson loses his brother

TUSCALOOSA (AP) — Jermareo Davidson is mourning the death of his older brother, Dewayne Watkins, the latest in a string of personal tragedies for the Alabama center.

Davidson learned of his brother's death upon returning to Tuscaloosa after the 10th-ranked Crimson Tide beat North Carolina State 82-75 Wednesday night, the Montgomery Advertiser reported on its Web site Thursday.

"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," Alabama basketball coach Mark Gottfried said. "Our thoughts, our prayers and our hearts are with Jermareo, his mother Madonna and his family."

Watkins was shot in the neck on Nov. 7 in Norcross, an Atlanta suburb, by an unknown assailant. He had been paralyzed from the neck down and on a ventilator since the shooting. When Davidson visited his brother in Atlanta's Grady Hospital the following weekend, the vehicle he was riding in flipped over on Interstate 20. His girlfriend, Nikki Murphy, was taken to Grady Hospital, where she died hours later.

He was forced to withdraw from school on the final day of classes because he missed class time while visiting his brother in the hospital, the Advertiser reported.

He has been allowed to return to the team under an NCAA bylaw that grants a waiver to student-athletes who experience tragedy in their immediate family. But he was forced to miss the Dec. 9 Alabama State game.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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