Hall of Fame Player Passes Away at 81
The basketball community lost one of its most versatile legends with the passing of Tom Gola, the first modern four-time collegiate All-American.
“The Hall of Fame is saddened by the news of Tom Gola’s passing -- he impacted the lives of so many and was truly a legend in Philadelphia,” said John Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Nicknamed "Mr. All-Around" by Hall of Fame coach Ken Loeffler, Tom Gola was able to play every offensive and defensive position on the court, making 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 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. 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. Gola was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976.