One of CM's best basketball players was remembered before Friday’s game against Winchester.
The number 14 now hangs in the rafters of Ronald S. Perry Gymnasium in honor of King Gaskins ‘72, an All-American basketball player who was the second high schooler in Massachusetts to score more than 2,000 points.
“King was a leader. He followed in the footsteps of many legends, opening doorways, changing perceptions, and making this such a fine, credible, diverse, and welcoming institution,” CM President Dr. Peter Folan said during the jersey retirement ceremony.
Gaskins’ impact on CM could be seen in his first year at the school when he helped lead the Knights to the state championship game in the Boston Garden against Springfield Commerce. With a broken finger, Gaskins made the game-winning shot to give CM a 52-51 victory and their first-ever title.
“I just got the ball from my left hand to my right hand as fast as I could and shot,” Gaskins told the Boston Globe after the game. “I thought it was going to be off to the right when I let it go, but it wasn’t.”
Gaskins was also a member of the Boston Six, a group of elite area high school basketball players that helped put Boston on the map for the sport and made the Boston Shootout one of the nation’s premier basketball tournaments for nearly three decades.
In 1984, Gaskins moved to Santa Cruz, California where he became a high school counselor and helped troubled youth avoid drugs and alcohol. His ability to bring rival groups together earned him the nickname “The Peacemaker.”
Gaskins tragically drowned in 1994 while saving a student. In his honor, a mural was painted on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz.
Gaskins’ banner was unveiled by his family and Malachi Bryant ‘23, the final CM basketball player to wear 14.