Bo Knows Best
There are not many things in this world that could’ve dampened the heart-melting and emotional story of Bo Kimble, but that’s exactly what the Clippers did the day they drafted him.
Kimble’s stardom began at Loyola Marymount. He along with Hank Gathers, led Loyola as the highest scoring team in the country from 1988-1990. LMU’s 122 points per game in 1990 is still the record for points per game in the NCAA.
Kimble and Gathers had transferred to LMU from USC. Under coach Paul Westhead, the two had become two of the best players in the country. With an unstoppable offense, Kimble and Gathers had taken a small Southern California school to national prominence.
Gathers had been diagnosed with an abnormal heartbeat in the beginning of the 1990 season. The medication Gathers was given to treat the condition, however, adversely effected Kimble’s play and so he took it sparingly.
In the semi-final game of the West Coast Conference Tournament, Gathers collapsed in the second half. Gathers attempted to walk off the floor but collapsed again, this time unconscious. Gathers was immediately rushed to the hospital. Hank Gathers died on the evening of March 4, 1990.
The game was suspended and the tournament was cancelled after Hank Gather’s death. LMU was awarded the automatic conference bid by their regular season championship.
In a first round matchup against New Mexico State, Bo Kimble drew a foul in the second half. In honor of his friend and teammate, he shot the first free-throw left handed in a touching tribute to Gathers.
Kimble would attempt two more left-handed free throws during the tournament. He drained them both.
LMU advanced to the elite but were defeated by the eventual champion UNLV, 131-101.
Kimble was then drafted by the Clippers, eight overall in the 1990 NBA draft.
Kimble’s stint with the Clippers was short lived however. The forward saw few minutes with the Clippers, despite his ability, and was traded to the New York Knicks in a deal that brought Mark Jackson to Los Angeles. Kimble was released by the Knicks in 1993, ending his career in the NBA.
July 17th is recognized as “Bo Kimble Day” in Los Angeles.