Basketball Hall of Famer Gola in a coma after fall

Updated: August 4, 2003, 1:25 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA - Basketball Hall of Famer Tom Gola, a legend at La Salle and a five-time NBA All-Star, is fighting for his life from head injuries suffered in a fall on July 25.

The 70-year-old Gola was comatose and listed in serious condition Monday morning at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Gola's wife, Caroline, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Gola has been in a coma since he was admitted to the hospital on July 25 after hitting his head on a curb. According to Caroline, Gola was walking to a restaurant with her and two other couples when he lost his balance and fell backward against the curb.

Gola still holds the NCAA record with 2,201 rebounds, led La Salle to an NCAA title and an NIT crown and also won an NBA championship with the Philadelphia Warriors in 1955-56.

A five-time All-Star, Gola played five seasons with Philadelphia and four years with the New York Knicks. He served in the military from 1956-58 after helping the Warriors win the championship in his rookie year.

But Gola was best known for his heroics at La Salle, which named its arena after him in 1998. Known for his ability to play center, forward and guard, the 6-6 Gola averaged 20.9 points and 18.7 rebounds for the Explorers from 1952-55. La Salle won the NIT title in 1952 and the NCAA championship in 1954, when Gola was named the tournament's most outstanding player.

Gola also coached La Salle from 1968-70 and finished with a record of 37-13. His 1968-69 team finished 23-1 and is considered by many to be the best ever in the Big Five, but was ineligible for postseason competition because of previous violations.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index