We're forced to say goodbye far too soon to a dear friend who represented the very best of the University of California.
Thanks Nick, for putting into words how all of us who knew Larry feel today.
It still doesn't feel real. It might not feel real until we are all together again on an odd Saturday morning.
Going to miss this dude tons.
I never met Larry in person but learned so much from his online presence. His analysis of games was brilliant, but what showed through even more was a tremendous passion for the university. A day after hearing this news, I am still in shock.
We've lost a great Golden Bear and a true embodiment of what it means to be a Cal fan as well as a Berkeley alum. RIP Reef.
Thank you for sharing a bit of your heart today. I cannot adequately describe how truly sorry for the pain of losing such a good person, colleague, and friend.
When you have to write a memorial about someone you're so close to, it's like cutting yourself open and spilling some of your grief. Thank you, Nick, for writing such an eloquent tribute when you, yourself, are in pain. This is truly a loss, and I hope all of Larry's loved ones are warmed by their memories of him.
I didn't know Larry as a sports fan but I did know him as a teacher. My daughter is a sophomore at Gateway HS, he was her advisory teacher since 2018, her Humanities teacher and she was his TA, but more importantly he was a friend. He challenged her when she needed to be challenged, championed her when she needed someone in her corner, believed in her when she struggled to believe in herself and never sugar coated anything. He has left his mark on all the students who were lucky enough to have known him. We are mourning his loss tremendously and I look forward to celebrating his life when the Gateway community can gather together and honor him.
Larry is/was what Cal fandom is. A relentless, joyful and never ending journey towards something greater. His churro to victory was our optimism, even during the most trying moments.
Larry moves on forever a big game champion and will have the axe for eternity, perhaps there is nothing more fitting than that.
Thank you so much for this beautiful and fitting remembrance, Nick. I've never met anyone quite like Larry, and I deeply appreciated him. He had a lot of interesting quirks and angles to him, and his conviction and logic led to some inflamed debates, but he was always rooted in a deep core of passion informed by morality, and I had a lot of respect and admiration for that. Plus, he was the kind of guy who can win a taco eating contest and then suggest going out for pie right after. An absolute unit of a human being, and I don't mean his physical stature.
I feel like I lost a cousin. For real. One thing I know is that whenever I brought up the ugly sausage making that gets conveniently forgotten when rooting for the Golden Bears, like Prop 209 or racism or exploitation of athletes, Larry was always one of the first to not only understand, but to lend another well reasoned voice to the discussion. The best thing I can say, and this as a person who never met him, was that I was always proud that he represented the University of California. He was a reflection of it. God bless him, and his family.
A beautiful man and a beautiful tribute. This is just devastating news. What a talent.. What a human. It's odd to be so torn up about the loss of someone that until today, I only knew as an avatar. Reef was by far my favorite writer on the CGB site, as he saw and presented the game of basketball in a way that really only coaches see. I continue to play the game and practically have spent my life between Harmon and Haas, and I generally feel like a novice to the game reading his stuff sometimes. His high moral character and sense of social justice always showed through in his writing. And I'll admit I even perversely enjoyed it at time when you could tell he was getting flustered by some commenters to board. I don't think I've ever been consciously aware of it till now, but thinking about it I now know that whenever I commented on post about basketball, I was probably always seeking Reef's approval. RIP Reef.
My son was so fortunate to be his student at Gateway High School. He assigned a lot of work and challenged them, but he got them to rise to the challenge because he was that magic combination of incredibly supportive, uniquely in-tune and enthusiastic about the kids and the subjects. He was my son's favorite teacher and I can assure you, the energy you saw going into his love of Cal athletics was the energy he gave to teaching and mentoring the kids who were blessed to be in his classroom.
RIP Reef. A terrible loss for the Golden Bear community, and for the world. Beautiful tribute, Nick.
I loved Larry/Reef's writing, and his passion for Cal. He had such a wonderful way of combining his love for the Bears with deep, thoughtful analysis that didn't always portend sunshine and rainbows.
In some ways it could be frustrating to read Reef's meticulous work, because I knew it would be (brutally) honest when I wanted to believe there was more reason for hope - and this despite Larry perhaps being the most hopeful fan among us! Anyway, he had a strong and distinctive voice, so I felt like I could relate to him despite only knowing him as Internet hero Reef.
Turns out Larry and I were the same Cal vintage (Keith Smith! I was probably two rows behind Reef at those games in Harmon), which adds to the poignancy.
Enjoy the Good Place, brother, where the Bears fulfill our every wildest dream!
Larry was a teacher of mine the summer of my 9th to 10th grade year. He taught me so much on how to speak to others, and the climate of society in this day and age. I am so heartbroken that we lost such an amazing person. The very last thing he said to me, was how our generation has to save the world, because his generation is destroying it. He was so awesome, fun, happy, but most importantly, so passionate. His passion inspires me to be as motivated and caring as he could be. We promise to remember him, and we will save the world Mr. Berroya. <3
Thanks Nick for writing about Larry. I had no idea how much he accomplished in his life. We were and still am- heartbroken over the news. My daughter is a student at Gateway High where she had Larry as a teacher. He was great- he pushed her as well as other students harder because he didn’t just want them to slide by but because he knew they could do it. She was on the volleyball and basketball team and he was a fixture at the games. He would just pump everyone on the stands up with the Gateway chat and it would liven up the whole gym. It was infectious. He was passionate about the sports as well as the students on the team. You can tell he had great relationships with students in and out of the class. I unfortunately didn’t get the chance to know him on a personal level, but when he sat near us at the games, he was just so easy to talk to on the stands. He will definitely be greatly missed by the Gateway community. Truly he left us far too soon.
Man, this sucks. I got to know Larry when we were both living in NYC. A small group of Cal fans would head down to Tribeca(?) to watch Cal football and hoops games at a sports bar there (can't remember the name--the Sporting Club?). When I relocated back to the bay area, we even shared seats during the hoops season at the Oakland Coliseum. I can attest to his hoops knowledge. I can also say that I probably completely bummed him out with my negative commentary about Ben Braun's offense. It drove me crazy! My best memory, and one that is up there with my wedding and the birth of my children, is sitting with Larry and other Cal fans in the team's hotel lobby singing the Cal Drinking Song over and over again after we beat Villanova to go to the Sweet 16. We shared beers with John Kasser and Cassidy Raher's dad that night. Easily one of the most fun and greatest days/nights of my life. RIP Larry. Even though we hadn't connected in a long time, you will be missed.
This was devastating news to wake up to this morning. I've started, deleted, and re-written my memories of Larry for Nick already. And still don't know how to proceed.