As we all learned yesterday, Jay Simpson’s basketball career is sadly over. As a redshirt freshman, Jay didn’t even get one full year of college ball under his belt – however, he’s still alive and with any luck will go on and live a nice, full, long life. All because his condition was diagnosed in time.
As we lament these past two seasons of Purdue basketball being somewhat dreadful at times and complain about how bad it’s been, these kinds of things do indeed serve as reminders that, yeah, it could be a hell of a lot worse.
Some of you may be too young to remember, but the 1990 Loyola Marymount University team had that “hell of a lot worse” happen to them. As Boilerdowd mentioned, Hank Gathers – a star on that team who had led the nation in scoring and rebounding the previous season – collapsed during the conference tournament after a dunk and died.
Gathers died 24 years to the day before the Jay Simpson news was announced, on March 4, 1990.
LMU went on an incredible run, clearly inspired by their fallen teammate and best player, reaching the Elite Eight. However, this is what LMU has forever been linked with and they have never been back to the NCAA tournament since. Did they never recover? The argument could be made.
Once again, we’re all very lucky and thankful that Jay was diagnosed in time.
While he didn’t spend a lot of time in the black and old gold, Jay still had his share of fun moments. Here now is a reel of Jay Simpson’s greatest hits. Big thanks to the Swamy