OT: Former Rochester Royal Jack Twyman dies

Discussion in 'Syracuse Basketball Board' started by Fireball Jr., May 31, 2012.

  1. Fireball Jr.

    Fireball Jr. 2nd String

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  2. br801

    br801 All Conference

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  3. RoysRunts

    RoysRunts Starter

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  4. Cheriehoop

    Cheriehoop Moderator Staff Member

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    Jack Twyman was a special person. Maurice Stokes story is so sad and by all accounts Stokes was a unique person also. Today's pros have no idea how it was for the early NBA players who paved their way.

    http://www.sportshollywood.com/stokes.html
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  5. longtimefan

    longtimefan Starter

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    Was my favorite basketball player when I was growing up. He used the 2-hand set shot to score many of his points early in his pro career.

    Trivia--was a college teammate of Sandy Koufax at U of Cincinnati (Twyman on varsity, Koufax on frosh team).
  6. Wallo

    Wallo Walk On

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  7. phillydad

    phillydad Walk On

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    "I think I see Willis"...or words to that effect on May 8 1970. Great man, I wish more younger people knew the story of him and Stokes.
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  8. Fireball Jr.

    Fireball Jr. 2nd String

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    Good call, phillydad! Let's go to the videotape:

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  9. br801

    br801 All Conference

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    I remember watching those Sunday afternoon NBA telecasts with my father as a kid in the late 60s and early 70s. That was about the only time you'd see a game then, unless you were lucky enough to attend one in person.

    I didn't really know Twyman as a player, only as a dignified and understated broadcaster. My father would often talk about Twyman the player, and every time he did, he always mentioned Maurice Stokes too. Good memories. R.I.P., Mr. Twyman.
  10. phillydad

    phillydad Walk On

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    Those Sunday afternoon telecasts were always Philly-Boston in the mid 60s, switching to Knicks-Bullets later in the decade. Great matchups, always.
  11. domestu

    domestu Walk On

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    Jack Twyman was one of the greatest basketball players of his era but his real legacy lies in what he did off the court. People are familiar with his extraordinary efforts in caring for Maurice Stokes and his fundraising events for retired NBA players but those humanitarian endeavors came naturally to a guy who cared for his fellow man. He was a person who always had time for anyone and his kindness and generosity graced the lives of everyone who ever knew him.

    When he started holding the Maurice Stokes charity game at Kutsher's in the Catskills, top players like Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, and Wilt Chamberlain showed up for the event every summer. Following Stokes' death in 1970, Jack remained as devoted as ever to raising money for former players and he continued hosting fundraisers and holding the annual charity game in New York.

    The game of basketball grew enormously popular over the years and as the decades rolled on it became harder and harder to interest stars in a charity event that was launched in another era. NBA head coaches continued showing up to coach the teams but by the mid-1980s only a handful of pros were still participating with a bunch of college stars who who were headed to the pro league.

    When I heard during the summer of 1986 that Pearl Washington was going to play in the game, I decided out of the blue to call Jack in Dayton, Ohio and ask about the possibility of getting tickets. We ended up having a long conversation about Maurice Stokes, the charity game, the great players and all of the changes in basketball over the years. He was as gracious with his time as anyone I have ever known.

    Whenever our paths crossed, I always asked him about the charity game and he was constantly thinking about things he could do to keep the fundraising event going. He would mention how difficult it had become to get NBA players to appear and I remember him telling me that Danny Schayes was one of the few pros he could count on to show up every summer. Jack told me that Dolph had a lot to do with it and had basically told Danny that it was something he had to do.

    Jack Twyman was an incredible basketball player. He led the Cincinnati Bearcats in scoring three consecutive seasons and averaged 24.6 points and 16.5 rebounds his senior season. He is second in career rebounds at Cincy to Oscar Robertson. Twyman went on to have a great pro career and during the 1959-1960 season he and Wilt Chamberlain were the first players in NBA history to average thirty points a game. He averaged 31.2 while Wilt took the scoring title with 32.1. When he retired in 1966, only Chamberlain had scored more points during their career in the NBA.

    Jack Twyman is recognized as one of the greatest basketball players of his era but in many ways he is one of the greatest people in the history of sports.

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