The Info List - Tom Gola

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Thomas Joseph Gola (January 13, 1933 – January 26, 2014) was an American basketball player and politician. He is widely considered one of the greatest NCAA basketball players of all-time.


1 Early life 2 La Salle 3 NBA 4 NBA career statistics

4.1 Regular season 4.2 Playoffs

5 Return to La Salle

5.1 Record

6 Political career 7 Personal 8 College basketball achievements 9 Pro basketball achievements 10 See also 11 References 12 External links

Early life[edit] Gola was the oldest of seven children born to Ike and Helen Gola. Gola's father was a Philadelphia
policeman of Polish descent who had shortened the family's surname from "Galinsky".[1] Gola was praised as a great all-around player as a high school student at La Salle College High School, where he led the Explorers to a Philadelphia
Catholic League Championship. He entered La Salle a year after another Philadelphia
basketball Hall of Famer, Paul Arizin, graduated from Villanova. La Salle[edit] Gola was one of the most talented collegiate athletes in Philadelphia sports history. He came to national attention while playing for the hometown La Salle University
La Salle University
Explorers men's basketball team. Gola starred as a college freshman and led La Salle to the 1952 N.I.T. championship.[2] Gola paced the Explorers to the NCAA basketball championship in 1954 and was named Tournament MVP. That same season he was selected as National Player of the Year. As a senior, Gola helped La Salle finish as the runner-up in the 1955 NCAA Tournament. He averaged 20.9 points and 19.0 rebounds during 115 games and holds the NCAA record with 2,201 career rebounds. At 6'6" (198 cm), Gola was clearly a forward who could shoot/score, rebound and defend, but he also had the ballhandling (dribbling, passing) skills of a guard, and with his shooting range and All-Pro defensive skills, could play just as well in the backcourt. He was inducted into the La Salle Hall of Athletes in 1961 and the Big 5 Hall of Fame in 1986. In 1977, Tom Gola was inducted into the National Polish American Sports Hall of Fame.[3] Gola was listed on "ESPN's Countdown to the Greatest" College basketball players as #17. NBA[edit] After a phenomenal college career, Gola turned pro with the Philadelphia
Warriors as a territorial draft pick. He teamed with All-Pros Paul Arizin
Paul Arizin
and Neil Johnston to lead the Warriors to an NBA championship in 1956. He gained praise for concentrating on defense, passing and rebounding and allowing the other two to be the chief scorers during these years. In 1959, Johnston temporarily retired due to a knee injury and the Warriors added seven-foot superstar Wilt Chamberlain. Again sacrificing himself for his team, Gola helped the Warriors consistently reach the NBA Playoffs, but they could not beat the star-studded Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
in the NBA Eastern Division during his seasons in the early 1960s even with Chamberlain. During the 1959–60 season, Gola became the first Warrior to have three straight games with a triple-double (the only other being Draymond Green, 2016). Gola played with the New York Knicks
New York Knicks
from 1962 to 1966. He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball
Hall of Fame on April 26, 1976. NBA career statistics[edit]


  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game

 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw
Free throw

 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game

 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

† Denotes season in which Gola won an NBA championship

Regular season[edit]


1955–56† Philadelphia 68 34.5 .412 .733 9.1 5.9 10.8

1957–58 Philadelphia 59 36.0 .415 .746 10.8 5.5 13.8

1958–59 Philadelphia 64 36.5 .401 .787 11.1 4.2 14.1

1959–60 Philadelphia 75 38.3 .433 .794 10.4 5.5 15.0

1960–61 Philadelphia 74 36.6 .447 .747 9.4 3.9 14.2

1961–62 Philadelphia 60 41.0 .421 .765 9.8 4.9 13.7

1962–63 Philadelphia 21 39.1 .457 .758 7.0 3.5 13.0

1962–63 New York 52 35.5 .460 .784 7.1 4.3 12.0

1963–64 New York 74 29.1 .429 .726 6.3 3.5 9.1

1964–65 New York 77 22.4 .448 .739 4.1 2.9 7.0

1965–66 New York 74 15.2 .450 .781 3.9 2.6 4.4

Career 698 32.3 .431 .760 8.0 4.2 11.3

All-Star 4 17.5 .414 .556 2.8 1.8 7.3



1956† Philadelphia 10 36.0 .355 .783 10.1 5.8 12.3

1958 Philadelphia 8 40.9 .330 .745 10.5 4.0 13.8

1960 Philadelphia 9 37.8 .412 .806 10.6 5.6 12.6

1961 Philadelphia 3 42.3 .206 .750 12.3 5.0 9.7

1962 Philadelphia 9 35.1 .271 .760 8.2 2.7 6.3

All-Star 39 17.5 .336 .771 10.0 4.6 11.1

Return to La Salle[edit] In 1968, Gola returned to his alma mater as head coach, leading the Explorers to a 37-13 record during his two-year stay. He was named Coach of the Year by Philadelphia
and New York journalists. He led the Explorers to a 23-1 record during the 1968–69 season, but La Salle had been barred from the NCAA Tournament before the season because an alumnus had offered some players "no-show" jobs. The school's Tom Gola Arena was named after him. Record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason

La Salle Explorers
La Salle Explorers
(Middle Atlantic Conferences) (1968–1970)

1968–69 La Salle 23-1 5-0 1st ‡

1969–70 La Salle 14-12 3-2 2nd

La Salle: 37–13 (.740) 8–2 (.800)

‡ Ineligible for any postseason tournaments

Total: 37–13 (.740)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion         Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion       Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion       Conference tournament champion

Political career[edit] In 1968, Gola was elected to the Pennsylvania State House, as a Republican, representing the Northeast Philadelphia-based 170th District. A change to the State Constitution made earlier that year had reorganized State House seats into legislative districts, replacing the old system of allotting seats on an at-large, county-wide basis. This made Gola the first person to represent the newly created district. Ultimately, Gola would not finish-out his first term in the House, opting instead to seek the office of Philadelphia
City Controller in 1969. He scored an 80,000 vote victory over Democrat Charles Peruto in the general election, and took office the following January. Gola was defeated, however, in his bid for a second term in 1973 by Democrat William Klenk. His defeat was part of a broader setback for Republicans in the city that year, as Arlen Specter lost his bid for a third term as District Attorney.[4] Gola made his final attempt at elected office in 1983, when he sought the office of Mayor. He came in last in the three-man field Republican primary, behind Congressman Charlie Dougherty and the winner, John Egan, who went on to lose the fall general election to Wilson Goode.[5] Personal[edit] Gola was married to Caroline Norris in June 1955, and they had one son Thomas Christopher. Gola died on January 26, 2014, thirteen days after his 81st birthday, in Meadowbrook, Pennsylvania.[1] A former US Army specialist, he was buried at the Washington Crossing National Cemetery in Upper Makefield Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.[6]

Tom Gola Arena
Tom Gola Arena
at La Salle University. Constructed in 1998.

College basketball achievements[edit]

All-District player (four times, 1952–55) All-State player (four times, 1952–55) All-America selection (four times, 1952–55) Consensus All-American (three times, 1953–55) NIT Championship, NIT Co-MVP (1952) First alternate to US Olympic Basketball
Team (1952) NCAA Championship, NCAA Tournament MVP (1954) College Basketball
Player of the Year (1954) NCAA all-time rebounding leader (2,201) 2,462 points 102-19 (.843) won-lost record #15 retired by La Salle

Pro basketball achievements[edit]

NBA championship (1956) All-NBA second team (1958) 5-time NBA all-star (1960–1964) One of only two players to win NCAA, NIT & NBA championships Elected to Basketball
Hall of Fame (1976) Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame

See also[edit]

List of NCAA Division I men's basketball players with 2000 points and 1000 rebounds List of NCAA Division I men's basketball career rebounding leaders


^ a b Fitzpatrick, Frank; Juliano, Joe (January 26, 2014). " Philadelphia
basketball great Tom Gola
Tom Gola
dies". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved January 26, 2014.  ^ Eskenazi, Gerald (January 27, 2014), "Tom Gola, a Philadelphia
Hero, Dies at 81", The New York Times  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-15. Retrieved 2012-10-26.  ^ King, Wayne (November 8, 1973). "Democratic Victories in Philadelphia
Rebuff to Rizzo, Who Backed G.O.P." The New York Times. Retrieved February 12, 2012.  ^ "Gola, Thomas J". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 12, 2012.  ^ Tom Gola
Tom Gola
at Find a Grave

External links[edit]

NBA.com Bio at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
(archived September 15, 2000) Basketball
Hall of Fame profile National Polish-American Sports HOF profile

Political offices

Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Preceded by District Created Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
for the 170th District 1969–1970 Succeeded by Alvin Katz

Political offices

Preceded by Alexander Hemphill Philadelphia
City Controller 1970–1974 Succeeded by William Klenk

Tom Gola
Tom Gola
– coaching tenures, championships, awards and honors

v t e

La Salle Explorers men's basketball
La Salle Explorers men's basketball
head coaches

James J. Henry (1930–1931) Tom Conley (1931–1933) Leonard Tanseer (1933–1941) Obie O'Brien (1941–1943) Joseph Meehan (1943–1946) Charles McGlone (1946–1949) Ken Loeffler (1949–1955) Jim Pollard
Jim Pollard
(1955–1958) Dudey Moore (1958–1963) Bob Walters (1963–1965) Joe Heyer (1965–1967) Jim Harding (1967–1968) Tom Gola
Tom Gola
(1968–1970) Paul Westhead (1970–1979) Lefty Ervin (1979–1986) Speedy Morris (1986–2001) Billy Hahn (2001–2004) John Giannini
John Giannini
(2004–2018) Ashley Howard (2018– )

v t e

La Salle Explorers men's basketball
La Salle Explorers men's basketball
1953–54 NCAA champions

3 Frank Blatcher 4 Francis O'Malley 5 Francis O'Hara 10 Charles Singley 15 Tom Gola
Tom Gola

Head coach Ken Loeffler

v t e

NCAA Men's Division I Basketball
Tournament Most Outstanding Player

1939: Hull 1940: Huffman 1941: Kotz 1942: Dallmar 1943: Sailors 1944: Ferrin 1945: Kurland 1946: Kurland 1947: Kaftan 1948: Groza 1949: Groza 1950: Dambrot 1951: Spivey 1952: Lovellette 1953: Born 1954: Gola 1955: Russell 1956: Lear 1957: Chamberlain 1958: Baylor 1959: West 1960: Lucas 1961: Lucas 1962: Hogue 1963: Heyman 1964: Hazzard 1965: Bradley 1966: Chambers 1967: Alcindor 1968: Alcindor 1969: Alcindor 1970: Wicks 1971: Porter * 1972: Walton 1973: Walton 1974: Thompson 1975: Washington 1976: Benson 1977: Lee 1978: Givens 1979: Johnson 1980: Griffith 1981: Thomas 1982: Worthy 1983: Olajuwon 1984: Ewing 1985: Pinckney 1986: Ellison 1987: Smart 1988: Manning 1989: Rice 1990: Hunt 1991: Laettner 1992: Hurley 1993: Williams 1994: Williamson 1995: O'Bannon 1996: Delk 1997: Simon 1998: Sheppard 1999: Hamilton 2000: Cleaves 2001: Battier 2002: Dixon 2003: Anthony 2004: Okafor 2005: May 2006: Noah 2007: Brewer 2008: Chalmers 2009: Ellington 2010: Singler 2011: Walker 2012: Davis 2013: Hancock 2014: Napier 2015: Jones 2016: Arcidiacono 2017: Berry II 2018: DiVincenzo

*Ruled ineligible after tournament

v t e

UPI College Basketball Player of the Year
UPI College Basketball Player of the Year
Award winners

1955: Gola 1956: B. Russell 1957: Forte 1958: Robertson 1959: Robertson 1960: Robertson 1961: Lucas 1962: Lucas 1963: Heyman 1964: Bradds 1965: Bradley 1966: C. Russell 1967: Alcindor 1968: Hayes 1969: Alcindor 1970: Maravich 1971: Carr 1972: Walton 1973: Walton 1974: Walton 1975: Thompson 1976: May 1977: Johnson 1978: Lee 1979: Bird 1980: Aguirre 1981: Sampson 1982: Sampson 1983: Sampson 1984: Jordan 1985: Mullin 1986: Berry 1987: D. Robinson 1988: Hawkins 1989: Ferry 1990: Simmons 1991: O'Neal 1992: Jackson 1993: Cheaney 1994: G. Robinson 1995: Smith 1996: Allen

v t e

Helms Foundation College Basketball
Player of the Year

1905: Steinmetz 1906: Grebenstein 1907: Kinney 1908: Keinath 1909: Schommer 1910: Page 1911: Kiendl 1912: Stangel 1913: Calder 1914: Halstead 1915: Houghton 1916: Levis 1917: Woods 1918: Chandler 1919: Platou 1920: Cann 1921: Williams 1922: Carney 1923: Endacott 1924: Black 1925: Mueller 1926: Cobb 1927: Hanson 1928: Holt 1929: C. Thompson 1930: Hyatt 1931: Carlton 1932: Wooden 1933: Sale 1934: Bennett 1935: Edwards 1936: Moir 1937: Luisetti 1938: Luisetti 1939: Jaworski 1940: Glamack 1941: Glamack 1942: Modzelewski 1943: Senesky 1944: Mikan 1945: Mikan 1946: Kurland 1947: Tucker 1948: Macauley 1949: Lavelli 1950: Arizin 1951: Groat 1952: Lovellette 1953: Houbregs 1954: Gola 1955: B. Russell 1956: B. Russell 1957: Rosenbluth 1958: Baylor 1959: Robertson 1960: Robertson 1961: Lucas 1962: Hogue 1963: Heyman 1964: Hazzard 1965: Bradley & Goodrich 1966: C. Russell 1967: Alcindor 1968: Alcindor 1969: Alcindor 1970: Maravich & Wicks 1971: Carr & Wicks 1972: Walton 1973: Walton 1974: D. Thompson 1975: D. Thompson 1976: Benson & May 1977: Johnson 1978: Givens 1979: Bird

v t e

1953 NCAA Men's Basketball
Consensus All-Americans

First Team

Ernie Beck Walter Dukes Tom Gola Bob Houbregs Johnny O'Brien

Second Team

Dick Knostman Bob Pettit Joe Richey Don Schlundt Frank Selvy

v t e

1954 NCAA Men's Basketball
Consensus All-Americans

First Team

Tom Gola Cliff Hagan Bob Pettit Don Schlundt Frank Selvy

Second Team

Bob Leonard Tom Marshall Bob Mattick Frank Ramsey Dick Ricketts

v t e

1955 NCAA Men's Basketball
Consensus All-Americans

First Team

Dick Garmaker Tom Gola Sihugo Green Dick Ricketts Bill Russell

Second Team

Darrell Floyd Robin Freeman Dickie Hemric Don Schlundt Ronnie Shavlik

v t e

1955 NBA Draft

Territorial pick

Dick Garmaker Tom Gola

First round

Dick Ricketts Maurice Stokes Jim Loscutoff Ken Sears Ed Conlin Johnny Horan

Second round

Jack Stephens Jack Twyman Walter Devlin Dickie Hemric Jerry Mullen Chuck Mencel Jesse Arnelle Don Schlundt

v t e

Warriors 1955–56 NBA champions

4 Hennessy 5 Dempsey 6 Johnston 7 Beck 9 Graboski 11 Arizin 12 Davis 14 Moore 15 Gola 17 George

Head coach Senesky

v t e

Golden State Warriors

Founded in 1946 Played in Philadelphia
(1946–1962) and San Francisco (1962–1971) Based in Oakland, California


Franchise Team history All-time roster Draft history Seasons Head coaches Current season


Arena Philadelphia
Convention Hall Cow Palace San Francisco Civic Auditorium War Memorial Gymnasium
War Memorial Gymnasium
(University of San Francisco) San Jose Arena Oracle Arena Chase Center

General managers

Tyrell Gottlieb Feerick Vertlieb Stirling Attles Nelson Twardzik St. Jean Mullin Riley Myers

G League affiliate

Santa Cruz Warriors

Retired numbers

13 14 16 17 24 42

Hall of Famers

Paul Arizin Rick Barry Wilt Chamberlain Joe Fulks Tom Gola Neil Johnston Jerry Lucas Šarūnas Marčiulionis Chris Mullin Mitch Richmond Don Nelson Robert Parish Andy Phillip Guy Rodgers Ralph Sampson Nate Thurmond Jamaal Wilkes

NBA Championships (5)

1947 1956 1975 2015 2017

Conference Championships (9)

1947 1948 1956 1964 1967 1975 2015 2016 2017


Wilt the Stilt

100 point game

Nate the Great Nellie Ball Run TMC The Sleepy Floyd game Splash Brothers Death Lineup Warrior Girls 73–9 The Block


Cleveland Cavaliers


TV NBC Sports Bay Area Radio KGMZ Announcers Bob Fitzgerald Jim Barnett Tim Roye

v t e

Naismith Memorial Basketball
Hall of Fame Class of 1976


Tom Gola Moose Krause Bill Sharman


Harry Litwack

v t e

Members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball
Hall of Fame



R. Allen Archibald Beckman Belov Bing Blazejowski Borgmann Brennan Cervi Cheeks Clayton Cooper-Dyke Cousy Dampier Davies Drexler Dumars Edwards Frazier Friedman Galis Gervin Goodrich Greer Guerin Hanson Haynes Holman Hyatt Isaacs Iverson Jeannette D. Johnson E. Johnson K. Jones S. Jones Jordan Kidd Lieberman Maravich Marcari Marčiulionis Martin McDermott McGrady D. McGuire Meyers R. Miller Monroe C. Murphy Nash Page Payton Petrović Phillip Posey Richmond Robertson Rodgers Roosma J. Russell Schommer Scott Sedran Sharman K. Smith Staley Steinmetz Stockton Swoopes Thomas Thompson Vandivier Wanzer West J. White Wilkens Woodard Wooden


Arizin Barkley Barry Baylor Bird Bradley R. Brown Cunningham Curry Dalipagić Dantley DeBusschere Dehnert Endacott English Erving Foster Fulks Gale Gates Gola Hagan Havlicek Hawkins Hayes Haywood Heinsohn Hill Howell G. Johnson King Lucas Luisetti K. Malone McClain B. McCracken J. McCracken McGinnis McHale Mikkelsen C. Miller Mullin Pettit Pippen Pollard Radja Ramsey Rodman Schayes E. Schmidt O. Schmidt Stokes C. Thompson T. Thompson Twyman Walker Washington N. White Wilkes Wilkins Worthy Yardley


Abdul-Jabbar Barlow Beaty Bellamy Chamberlain Ćosić Cowens Crawford Daniels DeBernardi Donovan Ewing Gallatin Gilmore Gruenig Harris-Stewart Houbregs Issel W. Johnson Johnston M. Krause Kurland Lanier Leslie Lovellette Lapchick Macauley M. Malone McAdoo Meneghin Mikan Mourning S. Murphy Mutombo Olajuwon O'Neal Parish Pereira Reed Risen Robinson B. Russell Sabonis Sampson Semjonova Thurmond Unseld Wachter Walton Yao


Alexeeva P. Allen Anderson Auerbach Auriemma Barmore Barry Blood Boeheim L. Brown Calhoun Calipari Cann Carlson Carnesecca Carnevale Carril Case Chancellor Chaney Conradt Crum Daly Dean Díaz-Miguel Diddle Drake Driesell Ferrándiz Gaines Gamba Gardner Gaze Gill Gomelsky Gunter Hannum Harshman Haskins Hatchell Heinsohn Hickey Hobson Holzman Hughes Hurley Iba Izzo P. Jackson Julian Keaney Keogan Knight Krzyzewski Kundla Lambert Leonard Lewis Litwack Loeffler Lonborg Magee McCutchan McGraw A. McGuire F. McGuire McLendon Meanwell Meyer Miller Moore Nelson Nikolić Novosel Olson Pitino Ramsay Richardson Riley Rubini Rupp Rush Sachs Self Sharman Shelton Sloan D. Smith Stringer Summitt Tarkanian Taylor Teague J. Thompson VanDerveer Wade Watts Wilkens G. Williams R. Williams Wooden Woolpert Wootten Yow


Abbott Barksdale Bee Biasone H. Brown W. Brown Bunn Buss Clifton Colangelo Cooper Davidson Douglas Duer Embry Fagan Fisher Fleisher Gavitt Gottlieb Granik Gulick Harrison Hearn Henderson Hepp Hickox Hinkle Irish M. Jackson Jernstedt Jones Kennedy Knight J. Krause Lemon Liston Lloyd McLendon Lobo Mokray Morgan Morgenweck Naismith Newell Newton J. O'Brien L. O'Brien Olsen Podoloff Porter Raveling Reid Reinsdorf Ripley Sanders Saperstein Schabinger St. John Stagg Stanković Steitz Stern Taylor Thorn Tower Trester Vitale Wells Welts Wilke Winter Zollner


Bavetta Enright Garretson Hepbron Hoyt Kennedy Leith Mihalik Nichols Nucatola Quigley Rudolph Shirley Strom Tobey Walsh


1960 United States Olympic Team 1992 United States Olympic Team All-American Red Heads Buffalo Germans The First Team Harlem Globetrotters Immaculata College New York Renaissance Original Cel