Former Bearcat, Royals star Jack Twyman dies

CINCINNATI - Basketball Hall of Famer Jack Twyman has died at 78.

Twyman was one of the NBA's top scorers in the 1950s who became the guardian to a paralyzed teammate.

Jay Twyman, of Rye, N.Y., said Thursday that his father died Wednesday at a Cincinnati hospice of complications from an aggressive form of blood cancer.

Jack Twyman played for the University of Cincinnati and spent 11 seasons in the NBA with the Rochester and Cincinnati Royals. He was also the first on-air sports reporter for Channel 9.

He averaged a career-high 31.2 points per game in the 1959-60 season and played in six All-Star games. He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983.

"The Bearcat family lost one of our legends yesterday with the passing of Jack Twyman," said 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."

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.

"Jack Twyman was the first former player to greet me six years ago when I returned to Cincinnati," UC head coach Mick Cronin said. "I enjoyed our lunches together and the wisdom he spoke with so kindly. He was a first-class man and obviously, one of the greatest to ever put on the Bearcats jersey. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. We will miss him greatly."

Former UC head coach Bob Huggins posted the following message on Twitter Thursday: Sad day for me and my friends back in the 'Nati. Jack Twyman passed away. We lost a great player and even better person

Twyman later worked as a television analyst in the late 1960s and early 1970s for The NBA on ABC.

Inducted into the James P. Kelly UC Athletics Hall of Fame in 1976, Twyman was serving as a member of its selection committee prior to his passing.

 

GoBearcats.com contributed to this story.

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