It was dark. It was cold. But I ran out to shoot my left handed free throw in honor of Hank Gathers, who died 22 years ago today. It's a tradition that I've kept for a while.
I suppose the tradition links me with my youth. Or, perhaps more accurately, it ties me to the moment when a piece of my childhood ended. My father died a month and a half before Hank. When I saw the Hank had died on television, I was beginning to understand what death meant. That person was never coming back. None of us would even see that person again. I believe that's why Hank Gathers's death has stayed with me all these years.