Hank Gathers

Last updated
Hank Gathers
Hank Gathers (cropped).jpg
Gathers in 1990
Personal information
Born(1967-02-11)February 11, 1967
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DiedMarch 4, 1990(1990-03-04) (aged 23)
Los Angeles, California
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school Dobbins Technical
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
College
Position Power forward
Number44
Career highlights and awards

Eric "Hank" Gathers (February 11, 1967 – March 4, 1990) was an American college basketball player at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) who collapsed and died during a game. He was the second player in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in scoring and rebounding in the same season. He originally played at the University of Southern California (USC), but transferred with teammate Bo Kimble to LMU after his freshman year. Gathers was born in Philadelphia, and was listed as 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m) tall.

College basketball Amateur Basketball consisting of current students of colleges or universities.

College basketball today is governed by collegiate athletic bodies including the United States's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), and the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). Governing bodies in Canada include U Sports and the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). Each of these various organizations are subdivided into from one to three divisions based on the number and level of scholarships that may be provided to the athletes.

Loyola Marymount University Jesuit university in Los Angeles

Loyola Marymount University (LMU) is a private Jesuit and Marymount research university in Los Angeles, California. The university is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and one of five Marymount institutions of higher education.

National Collegiate Athletic Association Non-profit organization that regulates many American college athletes and programs

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a "non-profit" organization which regulates student athlete of 1,268 North American institutions and conferences. It also organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and helps more than 480,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college sports. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Contents

High school

Gathers played prep ball with Kimble at Dobbins Technical High School in Philadelphia with the pair leading the team to the Public League City championship in 1985. [1]

Murrell Dobbins Vocational School

Murrell Dobbins Career & Technical Education High School, also known as Murrell Dobbins Vocational High School, is a historic vocational school building located in the West Lehigh neighborhood of North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It is part of the School District of Philadelphia. The building was designed by Irwin T. Catharine and built in 1936–1937. It is a six- to seven-story, 14-bay, brick building in the Moderne-style. It has a one-story, stone front building. It features brick piers with terracotta tops and the building has terra cotta trim.

The Philadelphia Public League (PPL) is the interscholastic sports league for the public high schools of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The league traces its origin to 1901, with the formation of the Philadelphia Interscholastic League, a conference encompassing all the city's high schools, public and private. Prior to this, the public and private schools in the area had been competing among themselves for several years in a number of sports, including football and basketball. Basketball and track and field were the first recognized sports in 1901, but football, although not formally on the schedule, engaged all the same teams, and newspapers usually recognized the school with the best record as the informal interscholastic champion. In 1902, baseball and crew were added to the schedule.

College career

USC

Both Gathers and Kimble were recruited to the University of Southern California by Head Coach Stan Morrison and his top assistant, David Spencer. They were joined by high school All-American, Tom Lewis, and Rich Grande as the "Four Freshmen" star recruiting class. [2] [3] Following an 11–17 season coaching USC, Morrison and Spencer were fired after the 1985-86 season, despite winning the Pac-10 Conference the previous year. It was reported that the players would not remain unless certain conditions were met, including having a say in the next coaching staff. [2]

University of Southern California Private research university in Los Angeles, California, United States

The University of Southern California is a private research university in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1880, it is the oldest private research university in California. For the 2018–19 academic year, there were 20,000 students enrolled in four-year undergraduate programs. USC also has 27,500 graduate and professional students in a number of different programs, including business, law, engineering, social work, occupational therapy, pharmacy, and medicine. It is the largest private employer in the city of Los Angeles, and generates $8 billion in economic impact on Los Angeles and California.

Stan Morrison American basketball player-coach

Stanley Mack Morrison is an American retired college basketball coach and athletic director. He was head men's basketball coach at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California from 1972 to 1979, University of Southern California (USC) from 1979 to 1986, and San Jose State University from 1989 to 1998.

Pac-12 Conference American collegiate athletics conference

The Pac-12 Conference is a collegiate athletic conference that operates in the Western United States, participating in 24 sports at the NCAA Division I level. Its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the higher of two tiers of NCAA Division I football competition.

USC hired George Raveling as the next head coach of the Trojans. [4] Raveling gave the players a deadline to respond whether they would remain on the team. When they did not respond, he revoked the scholarships of Gathers, Kimble, and Lewis. [5] Raveling's controversial [6] statement was, "You can't let the Indians run the reservation," he said. "You've got to be strong, too. Sometimes you have to tell them that they have to exit." [2] Kimble and Gathers transferred together from USC to Loyola Marymount. Lewis transferred to Pepperdine. Grande remained at USC. [7]

George Raveling American basketball coach and announcer

George Henry Raveling is an American college basketball player and coach. He played at Villanova University, and was the head coach at Washington State University (1972–1983), the University of Iowa (1983–1986), and the University of Southern California (1986–1994).

Loyola Marymount

Due to NCAA regulations, Gathers and Kimble could not play in the season following their transfer. They helped lead the Lions to a 28–4 record in 1987–88. [8] Gathers led the team that year in both scoring and rebounding (averaging 22.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game), was named to the All-West Coast Conference (WCC) first team, and was awarded the WCC Tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP). [9] [10] In the 1988–89 season, Gathers became the second player in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in scoring and rebounding in the same season, averaging 32.7 points and 13.7 rebounds per game. [8] [11] He was named WCC Player of the Year and again won the WCC Tournament MVP. [10] On December 30, 1988, he scored a career-high 49 points along with 26 rebounds in a 130–125 win over Nevada. [12]

1987–88 Loyola Marymount Lions mens basketball team

The 1987–88 Loyola Marymount Lions men's basketball team represented Loyola Marymount University during the 1987–88 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Lions were led by third-year head coach Paul Westhead. They played their home games at Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles, California as members of the West Coast Conference.

West Coast Conference college athletics conference of private parochial schools in the western United States

The West Coast Conference (WCC) is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated in NCAA Division I consisting of ten member schools across the states of California, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

The West Coast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament is the annual concluding tournament for the NCAA college basketball in the West Coast Conference. The winner of the tournament each year is guaranteed a place in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament for that season. Through 2008, the tournament was played on a rotating basis at the home courts of member teams. The 2009 edition was the first played at a neutral site, namely Orleans Arena in Paradise, Nevada, just outside Las Vegas. The semifinals are broadcast nationally on ESPN2 and the championship is broadcast nationally on ESPN.

As a senior in 1989–90, he was a candidate for player of the year and had been projected as an NBA lottery pick. [11] Gathers' head coach while at LMU, Paul Westhead, had instituted an extraordinarily fast-paced game plan. On offense, the Lions took numerous three-point shots, and typically shot the ball within 10 seconds of gaining possession. Their defense was a full-court press designed to force their opponents into a frenzied up-and-down game. Gathers' teams led Division I in scoring in 1988 (110.3 points per game), 1989 (112.5), and 1990 (122.4). [13] LMU's 122.4 point per game in 1990 is still a record as of April 2012. [14] As of April 2012, Loyola Marymount held the five highest combined score games in Division I history. Four of the five occurred during Gathers' career, including a record 331 in the 181–150 win over United States International University on January 31, 1989. [8] [15]

1989–90 Loyola Marymount Lions mens basketball team

The 1989–90 Loyola Marymount Lions men's basketball team represented Loyola Marymount University during the 1989–90 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Lions were led by fifth-year head coach Paul Westhead. They played their home games at Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles, California as members of the West Coast Conference.

The NBA draft lottery is an annual event held by the National Basketball Association (NBA), in which the teams who had missed the playoffs the previous year participate in a lottery process to determine the draft order in the NBA draft. The NBA Draft lottery started in 1985. In the NBA draft, the teams obtain the rights to amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The lottery winner would get the first selection in the draft. The term "lottery pick" denotes a draft pick whose position is determined through the lottery, while the non-playoff teams involved in the process are often called "lottery teams."

Paul William Westhead is an American basketball coach who most recently was the head coach of the University of Oregon women's team. In his first year as an NBA head coach, he led a rookie Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers to the 1980 NBA Title. He has previously been a head coach for three National Basketball Association (NBA) teams and an assistant for four others, and has also coached in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), American Basketball Association (ABA) and Japan Basketball League (JBL). He won titles in both the NBA and WNBA, and is also remembered as the coach of the Loyola Marymount University (LMU) men's basketball team during that school's era of greatest basketball glory. Westhead is known for an unorthodox, run-and-gun style called "The System." He attended Saint Joseph's University.

At 6'7" and 210 pounds, Gathers was Loyola Marymount's strongest inside player. He had a high field goal percentage because he seldom shot from beyond 10 feet. He used his power and quickness for follow-up baskets and scoring on fast breaks. "I don't care much about the points," said Gathers. "In fact, I should lead the nation in scoring because of my rebounding. Anybody can score 30 points a night if that's what he's concentrating on. But rebounding is special because it comes from the heart." [8]

College statistics

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
1985–86 USC 281223.9.529.5765.1.8.6.48.3
1987–88 Loyola Marymount 323129.6.562.000.5438.71.31.4.722.5
1988–89 Loyola Marymount 313134.1.608.000.56213.72.11.4.732.7
1989–90 Loyola Marymount 262630.2.595.000.56810.81.51.7.929.0
Career11710029.6.585.000.5609.61.41.3.723.3

Heart condition and death

On December 9, 1989, Gathers collapsed at an LMU home game against UC Santa Barbara. [16] He was found to have an abnormal heartbeat (exercise-induced ventricular tachycardia), and was prescribed a beta blocker, Inderal. [16] However, Gathers felt that the medication adversely affected his play, and his dosage was gradually cut back. [17] After missing three games, he struggled with his play for weeks after returning. His play recovered in a nationally televised game against LSU on February 3, 1990, when he scored 48 points along with 13 rebounds while being guarded by future NBA first-round draft picks Stanley Roberts and Shaquille O'Neal in a 148–141 overtime loss. [12] [18] The Lions won seven of their next eight games, [18] and Gathers recorded a career-high 30 rebounds against Saint Mary's. [12]

As the West Coast Conference (WCC) Tournament neared, Gathers did not show up for repeated appointments to test if the reduced medication was still suppressing the arrhythmias. It was suspected Gathers was not taking any dosage on game days. [16] On Sunday, March 4, 1990, in Los Angeles, he collapsed again with 13:34 left in the first half of the WCC tournament semifinal game against the Portland Pilots. He had just scored a dunk on an alley-oop pass from point guard Terrell Lowery that put the Lions up 25–13. [11] [17] He collapsed a yard or two away from Pilots point guard Erik Spoelstra. [19] He attempted to get up, telling the athletic trainers, "I don't want to lay down!" Shortly after, he stopped breathing. [20] Gathers was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital at 6:55 PM PST. [21] He was 23 years old. [16]

Minutes after Gathers was taken to the hospital, the WCC commissioner suspended the game indefinitely. [22] ESPN broadcast graphic footage of Gathers' collapse on SportsCenter ; [23] the network was at the game recording advance footage for the championship game it was scheduled to televise the next night. Late that night, the WCC canceled the tournament and awarded Loyola the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament due to its WCC regular season title. [24]

An autopsy found that he suffered from a heart-muscle disorder, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. [16] Gathers' family later filed a $32.5 million lawsuit charging negligence. [25] Loyola Marymount settled out of court for $1.4 million, while the cardiologist who treated Gathers settled for $1 million. [26] [27]

Legacy

Loyola Marymount was placed in the West Region as the #11 seed in that season's NCAA tournament. During LMU's subsequent run to the Elite Eight before falling to eventual national champion UNLV, Kimble—a right-handed player—shot his first free throw of each game left-handed in memory of Gathers, who, while naturally right-handed, was a poor free-throw shooter and had, for a time, attempted to shoot left-handed. [28] Kimble made all three attempts (he did not have any free-throw attempts in the Sweet 16 win over Alabama); from that point onward, and deep into his professional career, Kimble continued to honor Gathers by taking his first free throws left-handed.

Gathers was named a consensus second-team All-America and first team All-WCC selection for the season. [10] [29] He finished his career averaging 28.0 points and making 59 percent of his field goals, which were both school records as of 2010. He also averaged 11.1 rebounds for his career. He was voted WCC Player of the Decade for the 1980s. [30]

In 1992, Gathers' life was dramatized in a TV movie, Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story , with Victor Love starring as Gathers. [31]

Gersten Pavilion, LMU's on-campus athletics facility, is known to Lions fans as "Hank's House", although that is not part of its official name. [32] [33] His number 44 jersey was retired by LMU in 2000. [30] On January 29, 2005, the entire 1989–90 team was inducted into Loyola Marymount's Hall of Fame during halftime of a 63–46 win over cross-town rival Pepperdine. Gathers' mother, Lucille Gathers Cheeseboro, attended the ceremony. [34]

Gathers' nephew D. J. Rivera was the top-scoring America East Conference player during his 2008–09 season with Binghamton University. That season, the Binghamton Bearcats won the America East and for the first time earned a bid to the NCAA tournament. [35]

Gathers' nephew Jordan Gathers played three seasons at St. Bonaventure University from 2011 to 2014. He was forced to sit out the 2014–15 season due to hip surgery, and earned a bachelor's degree at St. Bonaventure in 2015. He completed one final season of college play at Butler University in 2015–16 as a graduate transfer. [36] As a freshman, Gathers was a member of the 2011–12 SBU team that won the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament, earning the Bonnies their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2000.

Gathers was part of the storyline in the ESPN film Guru of Go about Westhead, part of their 30 for 30 series. [37]

Gathers' death reemerged in national news wires during the 2016 NBA Playoffs when Kimble, interviewed for the celebrity gossip website TMZ.com, urged that Miami Heat star Chris Bosh retire for health reasons. Bosh has been suffering from blood clotting issues that forced him to miss the last several months of both the 2014–15 and 2015–16 seasons, as well as the entirety of the 2016–17 season. While Bosh felt that he was healthy enough to continue playing, Kimble disagreed: [38]

There are so many other things he could do with his life. Hank Gathers had the same thing, Hank could have been a comedian, and actor or did speaking engagements. It's not worth the risk. I would just say absolutely not, don't do it. If Hank had the ability to do it again he wouldn't have paid the ultimate price ... I am sure [Bosh] has children and they are going to need their father around as much as possible.

TMZ also interviewed Gathers' brother Derrick, who agreed with Kimble that Bosh should retire. [38]

Awards and records

Awards

Records

WCC [39]

LMU [30]

Achievements

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. Howard-Cooper, Scott (March 6, 1990). "The death of Hank Gathers: High school mourns distant symbol of pride : Philadelphia: Dobbins Tech, which won a city championship with Kimble and Gathers, has a special feeling of loss". Los Angeles Times . Archived from the original on March 8, 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 Harvey, Randy - Un-Raveling at USC: A Failure to Communicate. Los Angeles Times, May 13, 1986
  3. Florence, Mal - Freshmen Make Sweet Music in USC Victory. Los Angeles Times, January 18, 1986. "The young players--Hank Gathers, Tom Lewis, Bo Kimble and Rich Grande--all contributed Saturday afternoon as USC beat Arizona State, 81-72, at the Sports Arena."
  4. Fleischman, Bill -Raveling Leaves Iowa To Take Reins At USC. Philadelphia Daily News, March 28, 1986
  5. Florence, Mal Taken From 3 USC Freshmen : Lewis, Gathers and Kimble Receive Word From Raveling. Los Angeles Times, April 15, 1986
  6. Sands, Vernon - At Least, If Raveling Gives a Hoot, Then So Does His USC Team. Los Angeles Times, April 5, 1986
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  14. NCAA 2010, p.5
  15. NCAA 2010, pp.28–29
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  17. 1 2 Weinberg, Rick. "62: Hank Gathers collapses, dies of a heart condition". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on March 8, 2011.
  18. 1 2 Herbert, Steven (April 19, 1992). "The Pride of the Lions: Film follows the life of Loyola's Hank Gathers until his 'Final Shot' two years ago". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015.
  19. Arnovitz, Kevin (1 June 2011). "The Mystery Guest Has Arrived". ESPN.com. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
  20. From the ESPN 30 for 30 film "Guru of Go", premiered April 3, 2010
  21. 25 Years Later: The Night Hank Gathers Collapsed. ESPN.com. March 4, 2015. Event occurs at 0:00:12. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  22. "Loyola's Gathers Collapses, Dies". Los Angeles Times. March 5, 1990. Archived from the original on February 6, 2013.
  23. Stewart, Larry (March 6, 1990). "This Was a Story That Was Tough to Watch, and Difficult to Cover". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 6, 2013.
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  34. Stephens, Eric (January 30, 2005). "Lion Hearts Soar on a Special Night at Loyola". Los Angeles Times . Archived from the original on March 8, 2011.
  35. "Binghamton's Rivera makes his case against the tide". Philadelphia Inquirer . March 20, 2009. Archived from the original on March 8, 2011.
  36. "Men's Basketball Bios: 5 - Jordan Gathers". Butler Bulldogs. Archived from the original on May 25, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
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  38. 1 2 "Bo Kimble to Chris Bosh: Time to Retire; NBA Ain't Worth Dying For". TMZ.com. May 22, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  39. West Coast Conference (November 11, 2010). "2010–11 Men's Basketball Guide" (PDF). p. 77. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 10, 2011.

Further reading