25 Years Later, the Memory of Hank Gathers Lives On

Hank Gathers died 25 years ago — on March 4, 1990 — but his memory lives on. Fox Sports and ESPN have published articles about Hank and the effect his life and death had on the Loyola Marymount University community.

In the Fox Sports article, Coach Paul Westhead and Hank’s former teammates Bo Kimble and Jeff Fryer share their memories of Hank and the incredible run of LMU’s men’s basketball team during the 1989-90 season.

“To quote Charles Dickens, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” said Westhead, who coached Hank at LMU. “It’s really hard even now to separate it. The death of Hank Gathers is the worst of things that could happen to anyone, to any team, to any coach. And yet the celebration of the team that rallied around Hank and played so marvelously for the NCAA tournament, that’s the best of times. That’s something that happens once in a lifetime. It makes you realize you need other people around you. They just seemed to play above themselves. It was a tribute to Hank Gathers, but it was also a way to avoid thinking about him.”

UPDATE: ESPN has run a story about the anniversary of Hank Gathers’s death. Read the article and watch the video.

UPDATE: The L.A. Times has published a column by Bill Dwyre who talks to Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra, who was at the game as a sophomore guard for Portland when Hank collapsed on the court.