Tom Gola is a Philadelphia Big Five basketball icon. He led La Salle to the NIT championship in 1952 and the NCAA championship in 1954, and holds the NCAA record for most rebounds in a career. Gola also helped the Philadelphia Warriors win the NBA championship as a rookie in 1956 and was named an All-Star five times before retiring in 1966. But Gola also had many amazing achievements as a coach; his La Salle Explorer teams were a large part of the national basketball landscape. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1976.
In Mr. All-Around, avid sports fan and reporter David Grzybowski provides a definitive biography of Gola. He uses exclusive interviews he conducted with Gola in 2013 and features anecdotes by many figures of Philadelphia and basketball history, including John Cheney, Fran Dunphy, and Lionel Simmons.
After the NBA, Gola transitioned to a second career as a politician, serving as Pennsylvania State Representative and Philadelphia City Controller. His dedication to public service involved joining politician Arlen Specter on a campaign that revolutionized political marketing within Philadelphia. Mr. All-Around is an affectionate testament to the life, career, and legacy of one of Philadelphia’s most beloved sports legends.
|Publisher:||Temple University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
David Grzybowski is a former television news reporter for WPHL in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he covered the 2015 Papal Visit by Pope Francis, the annual Mummers parade, and the 2016 Democratic National Convention as well as the 2016 Villanova Wildcats NCAA championship. He was also a reporter at WNCN in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he covered the 2017 University of North Carolina’s NCAA championship title and Hurricane Matthew.
Table of Contents
Foreword Bill Raftery ix
1 3rd and Lindley 5
2 La Salle College High School 11
3 La Salle College: 1952 NIT Championship and 1953 Season 19
4 1954 NCAA Champions 27
5 1955: Gola versus K.C. Jones and Bill Russell 35
6 Love Letters and Wildwood 45
7 Gola to the NBA 47
8 Uncle Sam Called 53
9 San Francisco and a New York Knicks State of Mind 57
10 The "Behind the Iron Curtain" Tour 69
11 Gola Becomes Head Coach at La Salle 89
12 Gola's Political Career Begins 107
13 They're Younger, They're Tougher, and Nobody Owns Them 111
14 1973 City Controller Reelection 117
15 Tom Gola for Mayor 123
16 One Call to Superman 129
17 The Legacy of Number 15 139
18 A Call from the Hall 153
19 Gola at Work and at Home 157
Appendix 1 Correspondence 167
Appendix 2 Statistics 171
Photographs follow page 72