Dale Brown
Former Coach, Louisiana State University, 1972–97

“Hank Gathers was silent. I never saw him open his mouth. He was stern, totally focused and not intimidated. He was a cool dude, I thought. He just played the game. Nothing flashy. He was just a good, solid basketball player.”

Mike Dunlap ’80
Head Coach, Loyola Marymount University men’s basketball

“Hank was captivating. He drew your eyes. He was the kind of person who walked into a room and your focus just went to him. He loved the game so much that he looked like he was on a playground somewhere. Pure joy in shoes is what I would call him. He was a very special human being.”

Jeff Fryer ’90
Loyola Marymount University, 1986–90

“Hank was a prankster off the court, serious on the court — all business on the court. He was dedicated to the sport and really wanted to make it. He wasn’t going to let anything hold him back.”

Jim Hill
CBS2 Sports Anchor

“Hank was class personified. Hank was one of the big reasons LMU was so highly thought of. He would laugh and joke and have fun, but there was a switch that clicked the minute he got on the floor. Never give up, never ever, ever give up — he was a perfect example of giving your best all the time. He was all business. He would say, “I am not the one” as in “I am not the one to mess with today.” Hank and Bo made everyone so proud about this small school that was competing at a national level and doing well. They had a lot of people pulling for them.”

Bo Kimble ’90
Loyola Marymount University, 1987–90

“I look at how Hank lived, not how he died.”

Eric Mobley
Assistant Coach, USC men’s basketball
University of Portland men’s basketball, 1987–90

“When Hank Gathers collapsed on the court on March 4, 1990, opponent Eric Mobley, who knew Hank as a friend, rushed to his side. I just extended my hand because I thought he fell down. We were at half-court, and I was running toward the baseline to get the ball. I felt his presence, but then I didn’t as I got closer to the baseline. I turned to look, and I saw he was about to fall to the ground. So, I ran back. I knew something was wrong. I just reached my hand out to try to help him up. He tried to get up, and he couldn’t. … I was probably the last one to hold his hand before he went into his heart attack. It was pretty tragic.”

Doug Overton
Teammate of Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble, Dobbins Technical High School, Philadelphia
La Salle University, 1987–91

“In the summertime in Philadelphia, Hank would always dribble in the middle of the street and stop traffic. Instead of dribbling on the sidewalk or the playground, he would go out in the middle of 22nd Street and just dribble. Nobody would beep the horn and tell him to get out of the way because they were so amazed at watching this big guy dribble the ball in front of the cars and stop traffic. They would just sit there and watch it. That’s when I knew he was going to make it.”

Tom Peabody ’91
Loyola Marymount University, 1988–91

“Intense, determined, fearless, Hank had an insatiable desire to win. A true athlete, he could run with the guards and battle big men. But the best part of Hank … was Hank: funny, energetic, the center of attention. He had the rarest combination of intensity, compassion and joy. I miss him every day.”

Erik Spoelstra
Head Coach, Miami Heat
University of Portland, 1988–92
“The first time seeing the Hank Gathers experience, I just thought, “Wow, this guy doesn’t belong in this league.” He was head and shoulders above everybody in this conference. … He belongs in the ACC or the Big East. He was that athletic and physically imposing. He was faster than any guard getting up and down the court. … He should be remembered for what a brilliant, fantastic basketball player he was.”

Paul Westhead
Former Coach
Loyola Marymount University men’s basketball, 1985–90
It’s still hard for me to talk about. After Hank died, we played those tournament games and that was almost our one chance to get away from the stark realities. Once the season ended, life became very difficult. It was painful, and it doesn’t go away. Hank always pops into my mind. I think of him, and I think of our team and our guys. It’s chiseled in my memory. When I travel around, I’ll talk to people and they all eventually bring up LMU and Hank Gathers.