"He was so high," says Lucille Gathers Cheeseboro, two decades later. "And then when he came down, he was so low."
Hank Gathers, remembered twenty years later.
Diagnosed with exercise-induced ventricular tachycardia
, Hank Gathers, as a junior, managed to be only the 2nd player in history to lead the NCAA in both scoring (33 ppg) and rebounding (14 rpg).
About twenty years ago this week, Gathers
, All-American power forward for 1990 Loyola Marymount University Lions, the highest-scoring team in NCAA history, collapsed at midcourt after high-fiving teammate
, good friend
and future All-American Bo Kimble
due to an exercise-induced heart attack during a conference championships game.
After his death, the Lions made a surprising run during the NCAA Tournament, making it to the Elite Eight before falling to the powerhouse UNLV Runnin' Rebels. During that stretch, Bo Kimble, in honor of his friend Gathers, shot each of his first free throws in each game left-handed
(a tribute he would continue while in the NBA).
BONUS: LIONS VS. TIGERS
Gathers played under an incredibly break-neck offense constructed by coach Paul Westhead
. Curious about what a perpetually fast-breaking/fullcourt-pressing game looks like? You might enjoy this all-time classic overtime game
from 1990, pitting the Gathers/Kimble Loyola Marymount Lions against a young and talented Louisiana State University Tigers, available here
(second video down; been kind of wonky viewing for me, but hooooooly shit is this a great game. Classic. Seriously
). How young and talented was that LSU team? They featured three future NBA 1st Round draft picks: the quick and deadly Chris Jackson
(who was probably the most famous basketball player afflicted with Tourette's syndrome
and who would later change his name to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf
), and a few big fellas, 7-foot center Stanley Roberts
(whose career would be derailed by injuries and drug abuse
) and the thin, perma-grinning 7-foot freshman center, Shaquille O'Neal (a.k.a. Shaq, The Diesel, Shaq Fu, The Big Aristotle and Hobo Master, Superman, The Big Agave, The Big Cactus, The Big Shaqtus, Wilt Chamberneezy, Dr. Shaq, The Big Baryshnikov, etc.