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Tom Gola dies at 81; Philadelphia basketball star excelled in college, pros
Tom Gola dies at 81; Philadelphia basketball star excelled in college, pros

Tom Gola, a Philadelphia-born athlete once described by the late UCLA coach John Wooden as "the greatest all-around basketball player" he had ever seen, died Sunday at a care facility in Meadowbrook, Pa. He was 81. Gola had been convalescing since injuring his head in a 2003 fall from a Philadelphia curb. His wife Caroline confirmed his death to the Philadelphia Daily News. The square-jawed son of a Philadelphia policeman, Gola won championships at every level of basketball, coached a college team many consider to be the best in Philadelphia's history, and was elected to state and citywide offices. As a player over his four years at La Salle College, Gola paced a team...

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