Despite a strong reputation as a fast-moving guard from Cardinal Hayes HS, 5-9 Lou Gigante figured to play as reserve behind Barry Sullivan, Georgetown's leading scorer in 1951 and 1952. When Sullivan transferred to Columbia in the summer of 1952, Gigante stepped up.
Gigante was a force on both sides of the ball, and was capable of a big game from the starting five or off the bench. Backing up Sullivan his sophomore year, Gigante poured in 21 over Richmond and 18 over Maryland in consecutive games, finishing the season with a 6.2 scoring average. By 1953, however, Gigante was in charge of the Hoya offense and the team responded.
The 1953 Hoyas earned the school's only post season bid between 1943 and 1970, thanks in part to Gigante's court sense and some late season heroics. Gigante scored in every one of the team's 20 games, and collected double figures in 11 of the last 15. His 17 points over Navy stunned the NCAA-bound Midshipmen, while Gigante's backcourt play versus #4 LaSalle nearly upset the eventual NCAA champs, led by Tom Gola.
Gigante's 20 points in an upset of St. Joseph's and 24 points against George Washington helped bolster the cause for the NIT bid that followed, and the Bronx native joined his fellow Hoyas (all but two from the New York area) at Madison Square Garden before 15,000, falling to Louisville 92-79. Gigante scored 13 in the game.
Named co-captain in 1954, Gigante started strong again, averaging in double figures until a return to the Garden spelled the end of his college career. In a game versus NYU, Gigante broke his foot and was lost for the season. He finished his college career with a 9.2 points per game average.
Following college, Gigante returned to New York to join the seminary, where he served as a parish priest for nearly a half-century. A community activist, Gigante helped found the Southeast Bronx Community Organization, a group that has helped construct over 3,000 affordable housing units for families in the Hunts Point neignborhood. He also served a term on the New York city council and was a candidate for Congress in 1970.