Lions Highlights

General Information

Founded: 1906

Conference: West Coast Conference (WCC)

Past Conferences: California Basketball Association (CBA), Independent

Arena: Gersten Pavillion

City: Los Angeles, California

Championships and Titles

  • 5 Conference Tournament Championships*
  • 3 Conference Regular Season Championships*

Loyola Marymount Lions Team History

The Loyola Marymount’s basketball program was established in 1906 then joined NCAA Division I in 1942 as an independent team. It took the school a while to establish itself and winning seasons were rare in their first 12 seasons.

During the 1960-61 season, the school broke through by winning its conference’s regular season title and qualifying for its first NCAA Tournament. The Lions finished third in the regional bracket and it would be a while before they found the same success.

In 1979, Ron Jacobs came aboard as coach and changed the program overnight. LMU qualified for its second NCAA Tournament in 1980. Unfortunately, Jacobs left after a disagreement with the school’s powers-at-be.

Paul Westhead would then take over in the late 80s and turn the Lions into a prolific program. Led by the likes of Bo Kimble and Eric Wilson “Hank” Gathers, the Lions won a pair of conference titles and made consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.

Eric Wilson “Hank” Gathers Dies

In 1990, tragedy struck as Gathers, the Lions’ team stats leader, died during the WCC Tournament. LMU was then awarded the conference’s automatic bid to March Madness. The remaining players advanced to the Elite Eight, where they fell to UNLV, the eventual champions.

This would be the highest point of the program as of 2022. Westhead went on to coach in the NBA and Kimble, the Loyola Marymount Lions’ team stats leader in scoring, was drafted eighth overall in the 1990 NBA Draft.

LMU would become an also-ran as a basketball program. Bettors can find their NCAAB odds tapped as large underdogs against any decent team.

All-Time Loyola Lions Records

Points Scored

  • Hank Gathers: 2,490
  • Terrell Lowery: 2,201
  • Anthony Ireland: 2,172


  • Jim Haderlein: 1,161
  • Hank Gathers: 985
  • Eli Scott: 936


  • Terrell lowery: 689
  • Keith Smith: 594
  • Anthony Ireland: 557

Loyola Marymount Lions FAQs

Is Loyola Marymount a Division 1 School?

The Loyola Marymount Lions are an NCAA Division I men’s basketball program. They have been competing in D1 basketball since 1942.

Where Are the LMU Lions From?

The Lions represent Loyola Marymount University (LMU,) a Jesuit institute from Los Angeles, California. The school competes in NCAA Division I and in the West Coast Conference (WCC) as of 2022.

Where Was Hank Gathers Born?

Hank Gathers, Loyola Marymount’s star player in the late 80s, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He died during the second round of the 1990 WCC tournament.

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