Kings Hall of Famer Twyman dies | News
CINCINNATI, OH - Basketball Hall of Famer Jack Twyman, 78, one of the NBA's top scorers in the 1950s who became the guardian to a paralyzed teammate, died Wednesday at a Cincinnati hospice of complications from an aggressive form of blood cancer.
"He died peacefully with family members at his side," said his son, Jay, of Rye, N.Y.
Jack Twyman played for the University of Cincinnati and spent 11 seasons in the NBA with the Rochester and Cincinnati Royals. He averaged a career-high 31.2 points in 1959-60, playing in six All-Star games.
The franchise moved and became the Sacramento Kings in 1985. The organization retired his No. 27 Royals jersey where hangs in the rafters at Power Balance Pavilion.
He later worked as a TV analyst on NBA games - but is best known for what he did for Maurice Stokes after his former teammate was left paralyzed from a head injury suffered during a game. Twyman became his guardian to help Stokes receive medical benefits.
Stokes, a budding star in 1958, hit his head on the floor during the last game of the season. He later had a seizure, slipped into a coma and was left paralyzed.
Twyman organized an exhibition game with NBA players to raise money for Stokes, and that game became an annual tradition to raise money for needy former players.
"He was a great man, a devoted husband and father and a tremendous grandfather. What he accomplished in his lifetime was really the equivalent of three lifetimes," said Jay Twyman, referring to his father's success in basketball and business and his devotion to Stokes and other friends and family members.
Jack Twyman's daughter, Lisa Bessone, of Santa Fe, described her father as someone who was "larger than life and who always gave 110% to everything he did."
"He believed every day was a gift, and that's how he approached his life," Bessone said.
Twyman scored 15,840 points in his career and was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983.
Funeral arrangements were pending Thursday.
Twyman also is survived by his wife, Carole, two other daughters and 14 grandchildren.