Tom Gola, who parlayed his fame as one of the most honored player in college history into a career in the NBA that included being an original San Francisco Warrior, politics and business, died Sunday outside of Philadelphia at age 81.
Gola had been convalescing since suffering a head injury in a fall in 2003.
"I am deeply saddened to hear the news about the passing of Tom Gola, a former teammate and one of the true gentlemen of the game," Warriors teammate Al Attles said in a statement. "He was a Hall of Fame player, but an even better person. His nickname was 'Saint' and for good reason.
"He had a huge impact on the Warriors' early success in Philadelphia and, of course, was part of the original team that moved West to San Francisco in 1962. My sympathy goes out to his entire family. He will be missed."
The Philadelphia native won championships at every level from elementary school to the NBA, coached his alma mater, La Salle, to a No. 2 national ranking in 1968-69 and was elected to state and citywide offices as well as the basketball Hall of Fame.
With Gola as their do-everything star, La Salle won the 1952 NIT title and 1954 NCAA title. The Explorers were NCAA runners-up in his senior season of 1955 to USF and Bill Russell. Gola's La Salle teams went 102-19 in those four years. He was the MVP in those NCAA and NIT titles, the college player of the year in 1955, and was a three-time consensus All-America.
He holds the NCAA career rebounds record with 2,201 and scored 2,461 points.
In his rookie season with the hometown Warriors, Gola helped Philadelphia win the 1956 NBA championship. He was a five-time NBA All-Star.
Arizona 65, Utah 56: Nick Johnson had 22 points and freshman Aaron Gordon provided a huge boost despite a rough shooting night, helping the top-ranked Wildcats (20-0, 7-0 Pac-12) pull away from the Utes (14-6, 3-5) for their school-record 20th straight win.
Gordon made key plays with his hustle during a deciding second-half run. He finished with 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds.
After missing 10 of his first 12 shots, many of them on wild drives to the basket, Gordon sparked Arizona with a two-handed dunk followed by a blocked shot and an offensive rebound to keep a possession alive.
Oregon 71, Washington State 44: Jason Calliste came off the bench and scored 20 points to help the Ducks (14-5, 2-5 Pac-12) end a five-game skid with a win at Washington State (8-12, 1-7).
North Carolina 80, Clemson 61: James Michael McAdoo scored 22 points to help the Tar Heels (12-7, 2-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) improve to 57-0 all-time against the Tigers (13-6, 4-3) at home, an NCAA record for the longest home winning streak against one opponent.
Mississippi State: Coach Rick Ray issued an apology after TV replays showed him directing comments at Mississippi's Marshall Henderson in the final seconds of Saturday's game.
Cal 69, UCLA 53: Reshanda Gray scored 32 points on 12-of-18 shooting and grabbed 15 rebounds for the No. 19 Bears.
Brittany Boyd added 18 points, five rebounds and six assists for Cal (14-5, 6-2 Pac-12), which held a 43-28 advantage on the glass.
Short-handed UCLA (10-11, 4-5) got 26 points from Nirra Fields. The Bruins have been hurt by injuries this season and played just three players off their bench, generating zero points.
Connecticut 81, South Florida: Breanna Stewart tied a career high with 29 points and Bria Hartley added 26 as the top-ranked Huskies (21-0, 8-0 American Athletic Conference) beat the Bulls (10-9, 5-3).
Duke 111, Pittsburgh 67: Tricia Liston scored 23 points and became Duke's all-time leader in career 3-pointers for the No. 3 Blue Devils (20-1, 7-0 ACC).
Baylor 69, Oklahoma St. 66: Odyssey Sims converted a three-point play with 3.8 seconds remaining in overtime to give the No. 12 Lady Bears (16-3, 6-1 Big 12) a road victory over the No. 8 Cowgirls (17-2, 6-2).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.