By David Jordan Jr
Bo Kimble. Hank Gathers. Loyola Marymount. College basketball. History. All of these words are synonymous with each other and all of these words have a link to each other that will remain forever, until the end of time. Gregory “Bo” Kimble, a former All American collegiate basketball star at USC (University of Southern California) and Loyola Marymount University, also a NBA Lottery Pick (8th pick in the 1990 NBA Draft) of the Los Angeles Clippers has had not only a basketball career, but a life that has allowed him to experience everything that one can encounter. The highest of highs, the lowest of lows, adversity, triumph and victory. Hailing from North Philadelphia Bo Kimble’s love for the game of basketball enabled him to not only achieve massive amounts of success on the court, but this love also allowed him to have the same impact upon the lives of people across the world off of the court. His friend and teammate, the late great Eric Hank “The Bank” Gathers traveled the same roads from North Philly to sunny Southern California with the same aspirations for success on and off the basketball court. The dedication to the game and the hard work that was put in on the courts and gyms all over Philadelphia transcended into the multitudes of success both would eventually achieve nationally . ESHE Magazine recently had the honor of speaking with Bo Kimble, one half of the “Hank & Bo Show” about his life, his basketball career, his relationship with Hank Gathers and the “44 For Life Foundation.”
It’s been 25 years since the Loyola Marymount University Lions men’s basketball team left their mark historically and emotionally on not only the game of basketball but also in the hearts of many that were able to witness the team perform it’s magic with hard work, fun and the heart of a lion. Kimble, a 6’4 explosively smooth shooting guard led the nation in scoring during the 1989-1990 season, averaging 35.3 points per game, dropping 50 plus four times during that season. A soft touch from the outside, the ability to put the ball on the floor to get to the rim and the ability and strength to finish at and above the rim enabled Bo Kimble set scoring records that still hold a place in not only the record books at LMU but also in the NCAA Division I record books. Prior to starring at LMU, Bo Kimble was an All Pac-10 Freshmen team selection at USC after completing an outstanding high school career at Dobbins Technical High. Hard work and the drive and determination to succeed helped Bo in overcoming the odds and the naysers and becoming a 1st round draft pick, despite playing the latter part of his collegiate career at a smaller school, despite not being highly regarded by the “experts” prior to his senior year of college as a future draft pick. The circumstances from which he and Hank Gathers came from to reach their unprecedented levels of success shows how strong their will to win in life was and how that will to win transpired on the basketball court. Doing any and all things necessary to give yourself the best opportunity to be successful is what Bo Kimble and Hank Gathers did on a daily basis. Kimble reached his dream of not only being in the NBA, but of becoming a lottery pick (something that he and Hank made a pact with each other to become as seen in the movie “Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story”) and Hank had he not passed would have indeed been an NBA Lottery pick as well, thus again fulfilling a goal set out between the two and blueprinted by the years of hard work, blood sweat and tears.
March 4, 1990 was a day that not only changed the lives of Bo Kimble and those forever linked with that Loyola Marymount basketball team, but that day allowed a tragic circumstance to be transcending in not only a historic context in what the LMU basketball team was about to do in the forth coming NCAA Tournament and but also in the aspect that the tragic passing of Hank Gathers sparked the need for awareness about cardiovascular health. Years later playing in a game, Bo Kimble was on the court when Robert Carter passed away from sudden cardiac arrest, and it was at this point that he and Dr. Tamara L. Goode founded the 44 For Life Foundation to teach people how to not only save lives, but also be in a prepared position to save a life if the situation arises.
The fact that the legacies of Bo Kimble and Hank Gathers are forever intertwined together is something that is essentially understood. Bo acknowledges this with a great appreciation for he and Hanks on court exploits, yet he also understands the significance of his individual accomplishments and how they have enabled him to cement his own legacy individually. The things they accomplished together will forever stand not only in the annals of sports history but in the hearts and minds of those that were able to witness their greatness firsthand.