PHILADELPHIA -- Basketball Hall of Famer Tom Gola has been
released from a Philadelphia hospital and is recovering at a
rehabilitation center from a head injury in July that put him in a coma.
Gola, one of only two players to win NIT, NCAA and NBA
championships, lost his balance and hit his head on a curb outside
a restaurant on July 25 and was unconscious for several days. He is
now awake, talking with friends and able to move his limbs, said
family friend Ken Mugler.
"He is doing very well," Mugler said Friday. "He has a
tracheotomy, so he is speaking with a rasp, but he is alert and he
is doing his rehab."
Gola, 70, was moved from the Hospital of the
University of Pennsylvania to Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital
within the past two weeks, Mugler said.
Doctors have told the family they don't know how long it will take for Gola to regain use of his legs, Mugler said.
Gola is college basketball's leading rebounder with 2,201, and he
led La Salle to the NIT and NCAA championships. He helped the
Explorers to the NIT title in 1952 and the NCAA title in 1954.
In his rookie NBA season in 1955-56, Gola helped lead the
Philadelphia Warriors to the championship. He was a five-time
All-Star in his nine-year career, which included four seasons with
the New York Knicks.
Gola also coached La Salle from 1968 to 1970 and finished with a
record of 37-13. His 1968-69 team went 23-1 but was ineligible for
postseason play because of NCAA violations that had occurred under
a previous coach. The school named its arena after Gola in 1998.