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Hank Gathers, 20 years later (sort of)

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Piotr Rasputin, Jan 31, 2010.

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  1. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    The anniversary of his passing isn't until March 4, but Loyola Marymount honored the 1989-90 team this weekend.


    SI, 20 years ago:

  2. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Hopefully, Bo Kimble will shoot, and make, another left-handed free throw for Hank. Heartbreaking even 20 years later ...
  3. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    I didn't know they were doing that. I would have liked to have gone. I covered that team and knew all those players and coaches.
    I saw it on TV and had to stop working for a few minutes to compose myself. They replayed the game late last night and I watched the halftime ceremony again.
    Really, really vivid memories.
    They had some clips of a get-together before the game and Bo, in his dress suit, tossed in a couple of left-handed free throws.
  4. fishhack2009

    fishhack2009 Active Member

    Gosh, it doesn't seem that long ago.
  5. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Their NCAA run was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen in sports. Their style of offense was so much fun to watch.

    And, as I'm sure it has for a lot of people, I've often wondered how they would have done if Gathers had lived. Would they have stormed through the tournament with their best player, or would they have fallen short because they weren't so emotionally high?
  6. fishhack2009

    fishhack2009 Active Member

    That, and Len Bias, constitute two of the biggest sports "What ifs?" to come out of the 1980s.
  7. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    149 points in an NCAA game, not against a 16 seed. Unreal.
  8. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    And that was a pretty good Michigan team too...
  9. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    I forgot that UNLV wore black armbands as a tribute to Gathers in that Elite Eight game.
  10. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    Strange, I was at Bias' last game, too -- second round at the Long Beach Arena.

    About LMU's run, we were talking about it last night and somebody asked that very question, how would they have done had Gathers not died?
    I think it probably would have been the same.
    UNLV was too good for them.
    They also played that season in the Preseason NIT at Thomas & Mack. Runnin' Rebels started fast, went up something like 27-8. Then LMU hit their groove and nearly ran UNLV out of the gym. A couple of minutes later, the score was something like 29-27 UNLV and the Rebels GASSED.
    Then there was an announcement that there had been a bomb threat. They told everybody not to panic, that they didn't think it was a serious threat, but for everybody to look around and alert security if they saw any unattended packages.
    Everybody at LMU thought it was bogus, UNLV did it on purpose to cool off LMU. After about a 15-minute break, the Rebels had their wind back and took over the game again.
    I was sitting in the second row of press behind the scorers table. To my right in the front row VIP seats were Steve Wynn and Sugar Ray Leonard. As soon as the bomb scare announcement was made, they got up and headed for the tunnel out of the arena. They didn't come back.
    I think the only thing that might have made the tournament different for LMU was if, with Gathers, they got a higher seed, maybe sent to a different regional. They were an 11 seed after being ranked in the top 10 most of the season. They weren't going to beat UNLV, but they could have beaten anybody else on the country.
    And, the second round game against defending national champion Michigan was the most incredible game I have seen in 40 years in the biz.
  11. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    Against the defending national champs, yes?
  12. Garfield

    Garfield New Member

    Against a defending national champion that featured Loy Vaught, Terry Mills, Rumeal Robinson, Sean Higgins, and had Eric Riley coming off the bench, and was the third seed in the West.
    That Loyola Marymount team was the one that really got me into college basketball. I loved that style of play, love watching teams that can push the tempo like they did. Hank was one of the better players I saw because of his complete fearlessness going against anyone - remember the game he played against Shaq that year? The records that team set for that season (especially the scoring average record) and the records against Michigan in the tournament will likely never be challenged in a regulation game (especially 21 3-point baskets in a game by a team and 11 by one player - Jeff Fryer).
    I have all their tournament games on DVD and watch them from time to time, and have a slew on VHS I desperately want to get transferred to DVD. And, in the UNLV game, every starter for Vegas, after being introduced and shaking the hand of the LMU player they were introduced with, ran to where Paul Westhead stood and extended condolences.
    SoCalDude brought up an interesting thought as to what would've happened if Hank had still been there in the tournament. Frankly, I think LMU ends up in the West regardless, but might not have been shipped to Long Beach (I would've guessed them as a No. 9, maybe, which would've sent them to Salt Lake City and would've given us the LMU-UNLV game in the second round). And if he was there against UNLV in a regional final, there's no way that the bigs of UNLV (Larry Johnson, David Butler, Moses Scurry) control the glass as they did against Per Stumer, Chris Knight and Chris Scott. Vegas probably wins anyway, but its probably a lot closer than 131-101.
    And Bo Kimble's lefty free throws are among the coolest things I've ever seen in sports.
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