Cousin of Gathers dies at practice

December 01, 1993|By Knight-Ridder News Service

PHILADELPHIA -- A 17-year-old basketball player trying to make his high school team collapsed on the court and died yesterday in a manner almost identical to his famous first cousin, Hank Gathers.

Joseph Marable, a senior at William Penn High School, was pronounced dead at 4:50 p.m. after being taken by ambulance to Temple University Hospital from the high school gym.

The hospital listed Marable's collapse as "sudden death." The medical examiner's office will determine the precise cause, a hospital spokesman said.

Marable's father, Joe Rowell, said last night his son had not appeared unhealthy.

"I'm just numb," Rowell said, standing outside the family's rowhouse in North Philadelphia.

Marable collapsed after about five minutes of full-court practice, William Penn coach Arnold Singletary said. Marable went to the bench, leaned back and then slumped forward to the floor, Singletary said.

Gathers, a star at Murrell Dobbins Tech in Philadelphia in the mid-1980s, led the nation in scoring and rebounding in 1988-89 as a junior at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. He was 23 when he collapsed during a tournament in March 1990 and died later at a hospital.

Marable's mother, Gail Marable, is a younger sister of Hank Gathers' mother, Lucille Gathers.

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