Hank Gathers: 20 Year Anniversary Tomorrow

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Hank Gathers: 20 Year Anniversary Tomorrow

Post by Stonehouse on Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:00 pm

Tomorrow (Thursday) marks the 20th anniversary of Hank Gathers death. For the young-un's on here that might not know who Hank is, he played at LMU and is the WCC's all-time leading scorer, lead the nation in scoring and rebounding his junior year, and was a sure-fire Top 10 pick when he collapsed on the court and died due to a heart condition while playing against the Pilots in the WCC tournament. After his death, his LMU teammates went on one of the truly remarkable March Madness runs, making it to the Elight Eight as an 11 seed and capturing the country's heart.

I recenlty saw this article linked up on Deadspin... truly a great read:

http://ncaabasketball.fanhouse.com/2010/03/02/twenty-years-after-hank-gathers-stirs-memories-for-his-family/

Also, tomorrow ESPN Classic is dedicating the entire day to the memory of Hank, showing all the classic old LMU games. Here's the schedule:

12PM EST: LMU at LaSalle
2PM EST: LMU vs Michigan
5PM EST: LMU vs Alabama
8PM EST: LMU at LaSalle - one hour replay
9PM EST: LMU vs Gonzaga (2/19/90 - Hank & Bo score over 40 each)
11PM EST: Sportscenter Flashback, The Death of Hank Gathers

I would definitely recommend DVR'ing the Michigan game... they scored something like 140 points in what is still the highest-scoring NCAA Tournament game of all time.

Also, ESPN is airing a documentary about Hank and that LMU team in their 30/30 series... it is airing in April, but there is a sneak peak here:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4960817

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Re: Hank Gathers: 20 Year Anniversary Tomorrow

Post by blacksheep on Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:07 pm

Stonehouse wrote:For the young-un's on here that might not know who Hank is

I'm surprised you're not considered one of those young-un's.

I was only 10 when Hank died, but remember watching that game. It's difficult to imagine someone so young and in such great shape could die playing the game of basketball. Thanks for posting.

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Re: Hank Gathers: 20 Year Anniversary Tomorrow

Post by ShipstadPilot11 on Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:30 pm

I am definitely a "young-un," especially when it comes to WCC lore.

I've always known the general facts about Hank's death but that article put it in a completely different light to me. Thanks for sharing, Stoney.

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Re: Hank Gathers: 20 Year Anniversary Tomorrow

Post by goldhelmet on Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:02 pm

That LMU run was truely one of the epic times in WCC history. I remember the game was against us as well. Larry Steele was the coach at the time, and I believe Erik Spoelstra was on that team. They cancelled the rest of the tournament, the only time it's ever been done.

I'm a bit of a sports memorabilia collector, and one of my most prized posessions is a copy of Street & Smiths, with Gathers on the cover in his LMU jersey, autographed by Hank. One of these days, I'm going to have it framed, and put on the wall whenever my "sports TV room" dream comes to fruition.

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Re: Hank Gathers: 20 Year Anniversary Tomorrow

Post by MaizeBluePurple on Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:13 pm

Unfortunately, I remember that Mich game. I remember thinking the whole game, "What are we doing running with LMU?" My worries turned out to be well founded. I cannot believe that it has been 20 years.

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Re: Hank Gathers: 20 Year Anniversary Tomorrow

Post by Rob's Jacket on Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:25 pm

I'm ashamed to say I didn't learn about Hank until four years ago, when it was mentioned because Portland and LMU were playing in the first round of the WCC tourney at the Chiles Center. Thanks for the links, Stoney.

I do want to say that just in case something supernatural happens here, I'm really, really glad we're on the opposite side of the WCC bracket.

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Re: Hank Gathers: 20 Year Anniversary Tomorrow

Post by PilotNut on Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:28 pm

I will forever have the image burned into my memory of Bo Kimble shooting free throws left handed in the NCAA tourney, to honor Hank...

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Re: Hank Gathers: 20 Year Anniversary Tomorrow

Post by Rob's Jacket on Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:26 pm

Thoughts from the Oregonian's Paul Buker, who was the Pilots beat writer in 1990:

http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindbeaversbeat/2010/03/march_4_1990_hank_gathers_coll.html

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Re: Hank Gathers: 20 Year Anniversary Tomorrow

Post by DoubleDipper on Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:49 am

And today, March 4, marks a quarter-century since Hank's tragic death. †

Eric Spoelstra, then the UP sophomore point guard, recalls Hank and the day:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-hank-gathers-dwyre-20150304-column.html

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Re: Hank Gathers: 20 Year Anniversary Tomorrow

Post by blacksheep on Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:18 pm

If you haven't seen the full 30 for 30 on the LMU teams, it's worth a watch. Like I said above, I was pretty young when LMU was in its prime, but they were absolutely amazing to watch.

Here's an excerpt from the 30 for 30 that focuses on Hank's death. Even 25 years later it's hard to imagine a guy as physically gifted as Hank could die playing ball.


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