Jack Twyman

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Jack Twyman
Personal information
Born(1934-05-21)May 21, 1934
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedMay 30, 2012(2012-05-30) (aged 78)
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High schoolCentral Catholic
(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
CollegeCincinnati (1951–1955)
NBA draft1955: 2nd round, 8th overall pick
Selected by the Rochester Royals
Playing career1955–1966
PositionSmall forward
Number10, 27, 31
Career history
19551966Rochester / Cincinnati Royals
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points15,840 (19.2 ppg)
Rebounds5,424 (6.6 rpg)
Assists1,861 (2.3 apg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

John Kennedy Twyman (May 21, 1934 – May 30, 2012) was an American professional basketball player and sports broadcaster. Twyman is a namesake of the NBA's Twyman–Stokes Teammate of the Year Award. Twyman was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983.

Early life[edit]

Twyman was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he attended Central Catholic High School (which also produced Pro Football Hall of Fame Quarterback Dan Marino). After being cut three times from his high school team, Twyman practiced every day, shooting 100 foul shots and 200 jump shots and 100 to 150 set shots. Twyman then made the Central Catholic team as a senior, earning All-State honors.[1][2]

College career[edit]

After graduating from Central Catholic High School, Twyman attended the University of Cincinnati, where he received his degree in elementary education and averaged 24.6 points and 16.5 rebounds in his Bearcat career. He led Cincinnati to 3rd place in the 1955 National Invitation Tournament.[3][2]

Twyman's #27 was retired by the University of Cincinnati.

Professional career[edit]

Rochester / Cincinnati Royals (1955–1966)[edit]

Twyman, a 6'6" forward, spent eleven seasons in the NBA. His entire career was spent as a member of the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals, who later became the Sacramento Kings.

Twyman and Wilt Chamberlain became the first players in NBA history to average more than 30 points per game in a single season when they both accomplished that feat during the 1959–60 season. Twyman opened the 1959–60 season by scoring more than 30 points in his first seven games, and scored his career-high 59 points in a game that same season.[4]

Beginning with the 1958–1959 season, Twyman averaged 25.8, 31.2, 25.3 and 22.9 points per game over those four seasons.[5]

Twyman was named to the All-NBA Second Team in both 1960 and 1962, and appeared in six NBA All-Star Games.

Twyman scored 15,840 points in his career which ranked 20th on the NBA's all-time scoring list at the time of his retirement. He averaged 19.3 points and 8.7 rebounds over eleven seasons and 823 games. He averaged 18.3 points and 7.5 rebounds in the playoffs.[5]

Twyman's # 27 is retired by the Sacramento Kings.

Twyman was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983.

Broadcasting career[edit]

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Twyman worked alongside Chris Schenkel as an analyst/color commentator for The NBA on ABC.

Twyman made a call during game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals between the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers. During the pre-game segment with Schenkel, Twyman noticed Knicks' injured center Willis Reed (whose status for the clincher had been doubtful) advancing from the tunnel toward the court. Twyman then exclaimed: "I think we see Willis coming out!"[6] The sight of Reed marching toward the basketball floor helped inspire the Knicks to a 113–99 victory – one that gave New York its first NBA league title.

Maurice Stokes[edit]

Twyman became the legal guardian of his teammate and friend Maurice Stokes, a Hall of Fame player who was paralyzed due to a head injury he suffered after a fall during a game.

In the last game of the 1958 regular season, Stokes was knocked down on a play and hit his head on the floor, which rendered him unconscious. The injury manifested itself in the upcoming days, leaving Stokes permanently paralyzed after having seizures. Stokes had finished playing in the game in which he was injured and knocked unconscious.

Stokes then played in the playoff game three days later. He became violently ill after the game and teammates Dick Ricketts and Twyman were assisting him. "I feel like I'm going to die," he was saying. He then had a major seizure on the team flight and was rushed to the hospital upon landing. Stokes was cared for at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, where Twyman and his family were regular visitors. At age 23, Twyman became Stokes' legal guardian and provided support and care for Stokes for the rest of his life. [7][8][9]

To help with Stokes' ongoing medical finances, Twyman organized the "Maurice Stokes Memorial Basketball Game" to raise funds for Stokes' daily care needs. Eventually the game grew to assist other former players who were in need.[10] The game became a decades long annual event, attracting many of the top players in the NBA, and was later replaced by a pro-am golf tournament.[11]

Twyman helped Stokes to obtain workers compensation and taught him to communicate by blinking his eyes to denote individual letters.[12][10] Later, when Stokes had worked to be able to type, his first message was: “Dear Jack, How can I ever thank you?”[13]

Twyman remained Stokes' legal guardian, friend and advocate. Stokes died in 1970.

Stokes' life, injury, and relationship with Twyman inspired the 1973 film Maurie.

When Maurice Stokes was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004, Twyman spoke and accepted on Stokes' behalf.[14]

Legacy: Twyman–Stokes Teammate of the Year Award[edit]

On June 9, 2013, the NBA announced that both Twyman and Maurice Stokes would be honored with an annual award in their names, the Twyman–Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, which recognizes the player that embodies the league's ideal teammate that season.[15][16]


Twyman later became a food company executive (Super Food Services, Dayton, OH), and made more than $3 million when he sold the company in 1996.[12]

In 2004, when the Basketball Hall of Fame inducted Maurice Stokes, Twyman accepted the honor on his behalf. Earlier, Twyman said of his care of Maurice Stokes, simply, ”That’s what friends are for.” He added, ”He (Maurice) taught us a lot. We learned a lot from him, we’re honored to have had the opportunity to be associated with him.”[12][17]

Twyman died on May 31, 2012, in Cincinnati from complications of blood cancer.[12][18] Twyman was survived by his wife of 57 years Carole, his son, Jay; three daughters, Julie, Lisa and Michele; and 14 grandchildren.[13]


NBA career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
 *  Led the league

Regular season[edit]

1955–56 Rochester 72 30.4 .422 .685 6.5 2.4 14.4
1956–57 Rochester 72 32.5 .439 .760 4.9 1.7 16.3
1957–58 Cincinnati 72 30.3 .452* .775 6.4 1.5 17.2
1958–59 Cincinnati 72 37.7 .420 .783 9.1 2.9 25.8
1959–60 Cincinnati 75 40.3 .422 .785 8.9 3.5 31.2
1960–61 Cincinnati 79 37.0 .488 .731 8.5 2.8 25.3
1961–62 Cincinnati 80 37.4 .479 .811 8.0 2.7 22.9
1962–63 Cincinnati 80 32.8 .480 .811 7.5 2.7 19.8
1963–64 Cincinnati 68 29.4 .450 .829 5.4 2.0 15.9
1964–65 Cincinnati 80 28.0 .443 .828 4.8 1.7 14.5
1965–66 Cincinnati 73 12.9 .450 .812 2.3 0.8 7.4
Career 823 31.8 .450 .778 6.6 2.3 19.2
All-Star 6 19.5 .559 .650 3.5 1.3 14.8


1958 Cincinnati 2 37.0 .333 .583 11.0 0.5 18.5
1962 Cincinnati 4 37.3 .436 1.000 7.3 3.0 19.0
1963 Cincinnati 12 34.2 .449 .844 8.2 2.5 20.8
1964 Cincinnati 10 35.4 .472 .796 8.7 1.6 20.5
1965 Cincinnati 4 24.3 .396 1.000 4.3 0.8 12.3
1966 Cincinnati 2 5.5 .500 .500 1.0 0.0 2.5
Career 34 32.2 .441 .824 7.5 1.8 18.3


  1. ^ a b "Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame : Hall of Fame : Inductees : 2006 Charter Class : Jack Twyman". ohiobasketballhalloffame.com.
  2. ^ a b "Jack Twyman - American basketball player". Encyclopedia Britannica.
  3. ^ "Jack Twyman". University of Cincinnati.
  4. ^ MacMahon, Tim (November 2, 2022), "Luka Doncic first since Wilt Chamberlain with 7 30-point games to open season", ESPN
  5. ^ a b "Jack Twyman Stats". Basketball-Reference.com.
  6. ^ Video on YouTube
  7. ^ Curtis, Bryan (August 16, 2013). "The Stokes Game".
  8. ^ "Maurice Stokes: One of the best players in NBA history". Before Their Time.
  9. ^ "University of Cincinnati remembers Jack Twyman in 1955". University of Cincinnati.
  10. ^ a b Curtis, Bryan (August 16, 2013). "The Stokes Game: For decades, legends in the NBA headed up to the Catskill Mountains to play in the game". Grantland. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  11. ^ [1] Archived June 13, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b c d Martin, Douglas (May 31, 2012), "Jack Twyman, N.B.A. Star Known for Off-Court Assist, Dies at 78", The New York Times
  13. ^ a b Martin, Douglas (May 31, 2012). "Jack Twyman, N.B.A. Star, Dies at 78". The New York Times – via NYTimes.com.
  14. ^ odevened (July 30, 2015). "The ultimate friendship (Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman), and an interview with the author who wrote their story".
  15. ^ "NBA Twyman-Stokes Teammate Award Winners". NBA.com. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  16. ^ Devine, Dan (June 9, 2013). "Chauncey Billups wins NBA's inaugural Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award". sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  17. ^ Jun 1, foxsports; ET, 2012 at 1:00a (June 1, 2012). "Twyman and a life worth remembering". FOX Sports.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ Cornwell, Lisa (February 9, 1962). "Former NBA star Jack Twyman dies at 78 – Wire NBA – The Sacramento Bee". Sacbee.com. Archived from the original on June 3, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  19. ^ "Jack Twyman Award". www.uc.edu.
  20. ^ "Hall of Fame Members - Central Catholic High School". www.centralcatholichs.com.
  21. ^ "University of Cincinnati James P. Kelly Athletics Hall Of Fame". University of Cincinnati Athletics.

External links[edit]