The 20 Greatest Basketball Players to Never Play in the NBA

5. Hank Gathers

Accolades: 1989 WCC Player of the Year, 2x WCC Tournament MVP (1988, 1989), 1990 Consensus All-American Second Team, 3x All-WCC First Team (1988, 1989, 1990), 2x All-WCC Tournament (1988, 1989)

Anyone who was a fan of college basketball in the late '80s knew about Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble. The duo led Loyola Maramount to national prominence with their high octane offensive attack. LMU led Division I in scoring in 1988 (110.3 points per game), 1989 (112.5), and 1990 (122.4). Gathers was destined for NBA stardom when he first experienced problems with his heart in 1989, collapsing during a game in December.

Gathers found out that he had an abnormal heartbeat, but did not take the necessary medication because he felt that it negatively impacted his performance. After dunking an alley oop in the 1990 WCC tournament quarterfinal game, Gathers suffered a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and passed out on the court. He never recovered, dying only months before he was projected to be the No. 1 pick in that year's NBA Draft. 

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