A shooting revolutionary.
He helped to revolutionize post play with a high-arching set shot and near constant movement away from the ball, becoming the first player in NBA history to score 15,000 points.
Schayes led the NBA in free-throw percentage three times throughout his career, and an unconventional approach to preparation played a key role in that. Schayes often practiced his free-throw shooting on a 14-inch diameter hoop, which was fitted inside an 18-inch regulation hoop.
Schayes led Syracuse in rebounding in 10 of 11 years and averaged double digits in rebounding for 11 consecutive seasons (1950-61) and averaged a double-double over that span as well.
The Nats moved to Philadelphia in 1963 and became the 76ers, and Schayes took on the role of player-coach. He appeared in 24 games and averaged 5.6 ppg as the 76ers went 34-46. Schayes remained coach of the 76ers for two more seasons, amassing a 129-111 record. In his final season as Sixers coach in 1965-66, Schayes led the Sixers to a record of 55-25 and was named NBA Coach of the Year. That season marked Wilt Chamberlain’s first full season with the team that also featured stars Billy Cunningham and Hal Greer.
When Schayes retired in 1964, he had played in 1,059 career games, at the time the most in NBA history. With 19,249 career points, Schayes was also the NBA’s all-time leading scorer when he retired.
Schayes also coached the Buffalo Braves (1970-71), but before that, he served as supervisor of NBA referees (1966-70). He was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1972, Schayes also earned recognition in 1996 as a member of the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
He wasn't the only NBA player in his family as his son, Danny, was the 13th pick of the 1981 Draft and played 18 seasons in the NBA.