A statue of the late Loyola Marymount University basketball star Hank Gathers was unveiled Saturday outside of Gersten Pavilion, four days before the 30th anniversary of his death.
Paul Westhead, who coached Gathers at Loyola Marymount, was among the speakers at the 4 p.m. ceremony, held in connection with the Lions' final regular-season home game.
The statue was created by the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany, which has designed several statues at Staples Center, including those depicting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Jerry West and Shaquille O'Neal, and the Michael Jordan statue inside Chicago's United Center.
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Playing in Westhead's fast-break offense, the 6-feet-7-inch Gathers became the second player to lead NCAA Division I in rebounding and scoring in the same season, averaging 32.7 points and 13.7 rebounds as a junior in the 1988-89 season.
Gathers is Loyola Marymount's all-time leading scorer with 2,480 points in his three seasons after transferring from USC, and first in scoring average, averaging 28 points per game.
Gathers collapsed on the court at Gersten Pavilion, 13 seconds after dunking the ball in a semifinal game of the West Coast Conference tournament against Portland on March 4, 1990, and was pronounced dead shortly later at a hospital. He was 23.
An autopsy determined the cause of death to be cardiomyopathy, a heart muscle disorder. Gathers had collapsed at a game against UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 9, 1989, at Gersten Pavilion after which he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.
The game against San Francisco will include a recognition at halftime of Loyola Marymount's 1989-90 team, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight following Gathers' death.