Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story

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Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story
Final Shot VHS cover.jpg
VHS cover
Genre Biography
Written by Fred Johnson
Screenplay by Fred Johnson
Don Enright
Ed Fields
Story by Fred Johnson
Directed by Charles Braverman
Starring Victor Love
Duane Davis
George Kennedy
Nell Carter
Sam Hennings
Music by Stanley Clarke
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) Russell Vreeland
Producer(s) Don Enright
Les Alexander
James P. McGillen
Joe Lunne (associate producer)
Location(s) Los Angeles
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Santa Monica, California
Cinematography Stephen Blake
Running time 92 minutes
Production company(s) McGillen Entertainment
Alexander, Enright & Associates
Tribune Entertainment
Distributor Tribune Entertainment
Original release March 29, 1992 (1992-03-29)

Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story is an American 1992 sports drama biography television film about the life of Loyola Marymount basketball player Eric "Hank" Gathers, written for Tribune Entertainment by Fred Johnson, Don Enright and Ed Fields, and directed by Charles Braverman.[1][2][3][4][5]


This film follows the life of basketball legend Eric "Hank" Gathers, from his growing up in the ghettos of Philadelphia to his freshman year at USC through his brief career playing basketball for Loyola Marymount University, where he collapsed during a game and died of a heart ailment.[2]

Partial cast[edit]


Casting began in late 1991,[6] with a television debut slated for March 1992.[7] The project was filmed in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; as well as in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, California.[3]


Entertainment Weekly wrote that the film "does a decent job of showing us the person inside the uniform," but felt that the film is overall "too sketchily told to be truly satisfying."[8]

Dallas Morning News felt that the film went beyond disappointing to become "an insult -- not for what it focuses on, but for what it leaves out." The reviewer felt that the film fell "in line with many TV projects based on real-life people by reducing its subject to sterotypes."[9]

Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that film suffered in its dwelling less on the formative events of Gathers' life to concentrate too much upon his basketball career.[5]

Conversely, San Diego Union-Tribune felt the film was a fitting tribute to Hank Gathers' memory.[10]

Variety wrote that while some of the scenes were awkward, the film "sets a fine example of what a youth under pressure in North Philly can accomplish." They wrote that it is the growing relation of Hank Gathers with his college teammate Bo Kimble as friends and players that holds the viewer's interest, while making note that Gathers' off-court life remains "shadowy and vague".[3]


  1. ^ "Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story (1992)". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Fearn-Banks, Kathleen (2007). Historical dictionary of African-American television. Historical dictionaries of literature and the arts. 7 (illustrated ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 31, 68, 141, 262, 277, 356, 377. ISBN 0-8108-5335-3. 
  3. ^ a b c Scott, Tony (1994). Prouty, ed. VARIETY TV REV 1991-92 17. Variety and Daily Variety Television Reviews. 17 (illustrated ed.). Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-8240-3796-0. 
  4. ^ "Coming home for Hank". Philadelphia Inquirer. April 1, 1992. p. E01. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "TV Portrait of Gathers simply spares too much". Philadelphia Inquirer. April 1, 1992. p. E01. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  6. ^ "Putting Stalin in his place". Long Beach Press Telegram. November 10, 1991. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  7. ^ Hudson, Maryann (December 6, 1991). "Gathers Trial Set to Begin Feb. 24 in Torrance". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  8. ^ Slauter, Michael (March 12, 1993). "review: Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  9. ^ Perkins, Parrish (March 28, 1992). "Final Shot': just an air ball. Hank Gathers story becomes misleading made-for-TV movie". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  10. ^ Freeman, John (April 19, 1992). "`Final Shot' scores as fitting TV tribute to Hank Gathers' memory". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 

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