Wednesday
Jun242009

Thomas J. "Tom" Gola

Enshrined 1976
Philadelphia, PA
Born: January 13, 1933

Biography

Nicknamed "Mr. All-Around" by Hall of Fame coach Ken Loeffler, Tom Gola was a Philadelphia folk hero. Gola's angular build, which enabled him to play every offensive and defensive position on the court, made him an instant star. While an offensive whiz, Gola's quick hands and deceptive speed made him a defensive stalwart. A celebrity at Philadelphia's La Salle High School, Gola spurred hundreds of collegiate scholarships and played collegiately at LaSalle. Gola, the first modern, four-time college All-America, was named the 1955 College Player of the Year. Often considered one of the greatest college players ever, he was the first player in collegiate history to score over 2,000 points and grab over 2,000 rebounds. Upon enshrinement, he was the NCAA's all-time leading rebounder. Gola enjoyed a ten-year NBA career with the Philadelphia Warriors, San Francisco Warriors, and New York Knicks. He is one of a select group of players to win an NIT, NCAA, and NBA title.

Career Highlights

NIT championship at LaSalle, 1952
NCAA Tournament MVP, 1954
AAU star with Reno Creameries and the Denver Piggly Wiggly team
NBA championship with Philadelphia Warriors, 1956