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Jack Twyman, Basketball Hall of Famer and Caregiver, Dies

Jack Twyman of the Cincinnati Royals poses during a mock action portrait session in 1958.  Source: NBAE via Getty Images
Jack Twyman of the Cincinnati Royals poses during a mock action portrait session in 1958. Source: NBAE via Getty Images

May 31 (Bloomberg) -- Jack Twyman, a basketball Hall of Fame player who spent more than a decade caring for an injured teammate, died at age 78.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame confirmed the death of Twyman, a forward who played at the University of Cincinnati. Twyman died yesterday at a Cincinnati hospice because of complications from a form of blood cancer, his son, Jay Twyman, told the Associated Press.

Twyman, a six-time All-Star, played his entire 11-year National Basketball Association career for the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals franchise, averaging 19.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.

John Kennedy Twyman was born in Pittsburgh and played four years at Cincinnati, where he averaged 16.5 points per game as a senior.

He was picked by the Royals in the second round of the 1955 NBA draft and went on to average 31.2 points during the 1959-60 season. He retired having scored 15,840 points.

In 1958, Twyman became the legal guardian of teammate Maurice Stokes, who was paralyzed after hitting his head during a fall in a game. Twyman helped provide for Stokes for the rest of his life, assisting with his care-taking and medical bills. Stokes died in 1970.

“Jack will always be remembered for his hard work and his huge heart,” John Doleva, the president and chief executive officer of the Springfield, Massachusetts-based Hall said in an e-mailed statement. “The Basketball Hall of Fame and the game of basketball not only lost an incredible athlete but also an incredible man.”

Twyman is survived by his wife, Carole, four children and 14 grandchildren, AP said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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