Happy Birthday Hank Gathers. On February 11, 1967 a young boy was born who would go on to be an icon in college basketball. Eric “Hank” Gathers grew into a six foot seven member of the 1990 Loyola Marymount college basketball team. The team played with one of the fastest paces you have ever seen. Gathers led the nation in scoring (32.7) and rebounds (13.7) gaining him WCC player of the year honors. He was a beast on a team who full court pressed you pretty much the entire game and shot several three point shots. Their 122.4 points per game is still a college basketball record. As you can imagine, they were fun to watch.
This fun came to a sudden stop on March 4, 1990. Just days before the NCAA tournament was to begin when Gathers fell to the court after catching a thunderous alley-oop never to get up. Gathers died right there in Los Angeles just a few feet in front of Erik Spoelstra, then a point guard for the Portland Pilots and currently the head coach of the Miami Heat.
Hank Gathers was known as a hard worker on the court and loved to go after rebounds. This helped his scoring average and shot percentage because a lot of his points came off put backs and fast breaks. Gathers was quoted as saying “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.” Hank Gathers would have been 45 years old today.