Jack Twyman, NBA Star Known for Off-Court Assist, Dies at 78
June 1, 2012 10:31 AM   Subscribe

In the 1950s, Maurice Stokes was a superstar basketball player for the Rochester (later Cincinnati) Royals. Stokes was Rookie of the Year and an NBA All-Star in each of his three seasons, trailing only Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson in scoring. But at age 24, a brain injury sustained in the last game of the 1958 season left him almost completely paralyzed. With his teammate alone in an unfamiliar city, Jack Twyman became his guardian and advocate. Stokes died in 1970, after years of care and friendship with the Twyman family; Jack Twyman [NYT] died yesterday.

In 2004, after years of lobbying by Twyman, Stokes was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Twyman, a six-time All-Star who played all eleven seasons of his career with Rochester/Cincinnati, was enshrined in the Hall in 1983.

A short series of videos on Maurice Stokes and his legacy: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

The movie Maurie (also known as Big Mo) was made in 1973.
posted by Madamina (10 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by thecjm at 10:41 AM on June 1, 2012

Clicked for the Rochester reference and ended up in tears at my desk. Extraordinary story!
posted by TomSophieIvy at 11:10 AM on June 1, 2012

If you'll pardon the Yiddish, what a Goddamn mensch.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:13 AM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wow, I'd never heard this story. What a good, kind and decent human being. It's good to have stories like these to counter the sometimes horrific one we also read about.
posted by shoesietart at 11:20 AM on June 1, 2012

posted by ryanshepard at 11:31 AM on June 1, 2012

I saw this story when Twyman passed away yesterday; what a moving example of friendship. Thanks for this post.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 11:34 AM on June 1, 2012

I was hoping someone might do a post about the incredible and inspirational Jack Twyman. Thanks.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:35 AM on June 1, 2012

A MeFite just sent me a PM saying that Maurice Stokes was her very good friend's uncle. Connections, man, connections!
posted by Madamina at 1:27 PM on June 1, 2012

Maurice Stokes was my partner's uncle. Funny, the one thing my father and my partner could talk about was Maurice's rookie card. I had no idea my dad was a huge fan of Mo's.
The stories of how the other teammates had to bring him food back from whites only restaurants is creepy. Oh and every time he was in a suit, at a function where there would be dancing, inevitably a white woman would ask him to dance and of course he was smart enough to politely decline. So glad the times do change.
posted by scottMontgomery at 4:49 PM on June 1, 2012

posted by not_on_display at 9:48 PM on June 1, 2012

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