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Hank Gathers
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Basketball Player
    (February 11, 1967-March 4, 1990)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Birth name was Eric Gathers
    Power forward for the University of Southern California (1985-86) and Loyola Marymount University (1987-90)
    Led the NCAA in scoring and rebounding in the 1988-89 season
    Collapsed and died of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy during a West Coast Conference tournament game
    His college stats were inflated, due to the extremely fast-paced style of play at Loyola Marymount under coach Paul Westhead.
    He was prescribed medicine for heart arrhythmia after collapsing at a previous game, but gradually cut back the dosage, because he felt it affected his play.
    This, as well as not showing up for heart appointments, likely contributed to his death.
    After his death, his family sued Loyola Marymount and his cardiologist for negligence.
    ESPN Sportscenter and local Los Angeles TV stations repeatedly showed footage of his collapse.
    Though right-handed, he shot his free throws left-handed.
    His scholarship at USC was revoked due to a coaching change.
    His Loyola Marymount teams were among the highest scoring in NCAA history.
    His final basket, which occurred a few seconds before his collapse, was an alley oop slam dunk.
    Medical staff didn't use a defibrillator on him until they removed him from the court, costing precious life-saving seconds.
    The tragedy of his death (as well as that of Reggie Lewis) led to better procedures to help athletes with heart trouble.
    Honoring his memory, LMU made a Cinderella run to the Elite Eight right after his passing, and high school/college teammate Bo Kimble began to shoot his first free throws left-handed like Gathers.
    Erik Spoelstra, who played against him in his last game, said 'He was an unbelievable physical specimen. He was Amare Stoudemire before there was an Amare Stoudemire.'

Credit: Hoxy


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