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Lobo fan breaks foot in fall from suite in Pit

He just wanted a picture with his son at their first Lobo basketball game together.

You know, to make it memorable.

It’s safe to say Eddie Bracamonte Jr. succeeded on the memorable part.

The 35-year-old former wrestling and football star who graduated from West Mesa High School in 1999 was backing up toward a thigh-high railing in a luxury suite at the Pit during Wednesday’s men’s basketball game between Fresno State and UNM when he lost his balance and flipped over, leading to a 15-foot fall and a shattered right foot.

That was the story he told Bob Brown on “The Locker Room” radio show on 101.7 KQTM-FM on Thursday afternoon from his hospital room at UNM Hospital, where he had one surgery Wednesday night and has a second planned for this morning.

“I fell 20 feet in the air and did two front flips pretty much and acted like a ninja,” a good-spirited Bracamonte said in the radio interview. “But the feet ain’t what they used to be, so I shattered my foot.”

He later admitted that down the road, he plans to tell the story in a different way.

“I’m going to call it 25 or 30 feet,” he joked. “That’s what it felt like.”

A message left on Bracamonte’s phone for an interview was not returned to the Journal. He said on the radio he had not been drinking at the game.

UNM Athletics said the incident is being investigated and witnesses are being interviewed by the campus police department, which did not return phone messages or email requests for comment. Bracomonte said as of Thursday night he has not yet been contacted by anybody from UNM.

UNM athleteics spokesperson Frank Mercogliano told the Journal they will wait to see the determination from UNM PD on what happened and address any concerns if needed. He added that the height of the railing has met standard safety code since the renovated Pit reopened with the suites prior to the 2010-11 season.

“While it looks like this is a one-time accident of a freak circumstance,” Mercogliano said, “we will as always look at our procedures to make sure that we are doing everything possible regarding the safety of our fans.”

Bracamonte asked a friend to take a picture of him and his son with the arena and court in the background. He first slipped and then backed his way into the railing, he explained.

“My momentum, not slowing down, going over the rail on the balcony,” Bracomonte said on the radio. “I couldn’t believe it was actually going down when it happened. All I could think of was my son, thinking, ‘Oh my God, my son. He’s going to watch his dad fall off this (ledge).’ … I’m thankful to be alive.”

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