ESPN is reporting that former University of Cincinnati standout and NBA great Jack Twyman passed away Wednesday due to complications of blood cancer. He was 78.
“The Bearcat family lost one of our legends yesterday with the passing of Jack Twyman,” said UC director of athletics Whit Babcock. “He was a true gentleman, a great man who loved UC. He will be missed. He supported his alma mater in every facet. He was an icon. The name “Jack Twyman” will forever be associated with our University and a golden era of UC Athletics.”
Twyman, a 6’6″ forward who finished his college career as the all-time scoring and rebounding leader at the University of Cincinnati, was taken with the eigth pick in the 1955 NBA Draft by the Rochester Royals. He would spend 11 seasons with the organization, who eventually moved to Cincinnati.
Twyman was named an NBA all-star in six of his 11 seasons, including 1960 when he led the league in scoring, averaging 31.2 points. He was named Second Team All-NBA in 1960 and 1962.
Over the course of his career as a professional basketball player, Twyman scored 15,840 points to go along with 5,424 rebounds and 1,861 assists.
He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983.
In addition to his on-the-court prowess, was just as amazing when he wasn’t playing.
In 1958, after teammate Maurice Stokes was left paralyzed after a head injury suffered during a game, Twyman became his guardian to help Stokes receive medical benefits.
In addition to becoming Stokes’ guardian, Twyman organized an NBA memorial basketball game to raise money for Stokes and other needy former players.
According to Wikipedia, the fundraising effort continues to this day, but the basketball game has been replaced by a pro-am golf event featuring NBA players.
“He was a great man, a devoted husband and father and a tremendous grandfather,” Jack Twyman’s son, Jay, told WCPO.
Besides his son, Twyman also is survived by his wife Carole, two other daughters and 14 grandchildren.