The Loyola Marymount Lions have been to the NCAA Tournament five times in their history, advancing to the Elite Eight in 1990. The Lions have also been to the NIT once in 1986 and the CIT in 2012 when they advanced to the quarterfinals.
The Lions were a great program in the 1980s and early 1990s when they were noted for a high scoring style of play. The two most famous Lions players are Bo Kimble and Hank Gathers. Both were part of the 1990 team, but Gathers did not make it to the Elite Eight. He collapsed during a game in December of 1989 against UC Santa Barbara, due to a heart condition. He was prescribed medicines to help this condition, but he felt it adversely affected his play so the dosages were reduced. He continued to play and in a game against LSU and Shaquille O’Neal, scored 48 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
During the WCC Tournament, Gathers again collapsed in a game against Portland in the first half after dunking to put his team up 25-13. He died later that night and his friend and teammate Bo Kimble honored him by shooting all of his free throws in the NCAA Tournament left handed as Gathers did. They were one game from the Final Four and we are left to wonder how far they might have gone with Gathers.
The Lions play their home games at the Albert Gersten Pavilion, which opened in 1981 and seats over 4000 Lions fans for home games. The Lions have not made it back to the Big Dance since that 1990 season, but the home fans still support the team, often filling the arena and staying loud during the game.
The Lions are in the West Coast Conference, which includes great basketball programs such as Gonzaga, BYU, Pacific, Pepperdine, St, Mary’s, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Clara.
If the Lions can get back to the top form of the late 1980s, with Gonzaga, BYU and St. Mary’s, this conference could become one of the most exciting in college basketball. Can the Lions make strides this season to get back to the glory years? Come out to the Gersten Pavilion and find out.
With 4000 fan, there are enough to create a great atmosphere, but every seat is close to the court. So you will be guaranteed a great view from any seat in the house. You will enjoy your favorite concession items such as hot dogs, nachos, fries, pretzels, popcorn, churros, Cole products and more while you enjoy a great game.
For a while in the late 1980s, Lions basketball was bigger in Southern California than USC and UCLA. Will the Lions get back there again? Come out to Gersten Pavilion this season and find out. You will not want to miss out on these great games. Bring your friends and family members and enjoy a great day of college basketball at Gersten Pavilion.
image courtesy of bbpassport.com