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UC mourns loss of Jack Twyman

by John Bach

Former University of Cincinnati legend, six-time NBA all-star and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Jack Twyman died May 30, 2012, at the age of 78 in Cincinnati.

UC’s second All-American, Twyman led the Bearcats in scoring his sophomore through senior seasons (1952-55), finishing his career as the school’s all-time leading scorer (1,598) and rebounder (1,242). He was named an All-American in 1955 after averaging 24.6 points and 16.5 rebounds.  His career scoring total currently ranks ninth while his rebounding numbers rank second at UC.  Twyman is one of three former Bearcats to have their jersey number retired. His jersey No. 27 hangs at Fifth Third Arena.

“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.”

The Pittsburgh, Pa., native was selected by the Rochester Royals with the eighth pick in the 1955 NBA Draft. The organization moved to Cincinnati two years later. Twyman was named an NBA all-star in six of his 11 seasons, including 1960 when he led the league in scoring, averaging 31.2 points. He was named Second Team All-NBA in 1960 and 1962.

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

Twyman was also known for his compassion for others. He became the legal guardian of Maurice Stokes to help with medical expenses after his Royals teammate was paralyzed due to the aftereffect of a head injury sustained during a game in 1958. Twyman organized an NBA memorial basketball  game to raise money for Stokes and other needy former players.

“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.”
Twyman later worked as a television analyst in the late 1960s and early 1970s for the 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.