Jack Twyman


The No. 27, which adorns the rafters of Sleep Train Arena, is an oft forgotten legacy — one honoring both an amazing person and basketball player.

After a successful collegiate career, Jack Twyman entered the League in 1955. Though he was just the eighth-overall player selected, the forward was picked in the Second Round of the NBA Draft. (In the League's earliest days, there were as many 21 rounds in the Draft compared to the two rounds currently standardized.)

Only four years later, Twyman would not only lead the League in scoring but also set himself apart by becoming a scoring pioneer. In 1959-60, he became one of the first-ever players to average more than 30 points per game (he averaged 31 points and nearly nine rebounds). A six-time All-Star, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983 after leaving his indelible impression on the NBA.

While accomplished on-court with a star-studded team, including legends Oscar Robertson and Tiny Archibald, Twyman was even more renowned during his playing days for his remarkable relationship with teammate Maurice Stokes.

Also drafted in 1955, Stokes was a dominant force in the NBA before suffering a severe head injury in a game against Minneapolis in 1958. The forward would never return to the court and was left a quadriplegic by the accident. Soon after, Twyman became the legal guardian of Stokes to help his family handle medical expenses and financial management. In the same season, he organized a charity game, which raised $10,000 to help pay for Stokes' medical treatment. Even though Twyman had a family of his own, he remained a steadfast friend and supporter of Stokes up until his death in 1970.

Twyman's own playing career came to an end in 1966, when he walked away from the game with career averages of more than 19 points and six rebounds per game. Though a fantastic scorer, it's his inspiring relationship with Stokes that reflects how unbelievably selfless he was as a teammate. The Basketball Hall of Famer and Franchise legend passed away peacefully at the age of 78 on May 30, 2012.

"Jack Twyman was a person who dedicated himself to helping mankind, as exemplified by what he did for Maurice Stokes. When I joined the Royals the team was still recovering from the loss of Stokes two years earlier and we were all trying to learn about each other and come together as a team. Jack was a smart player -- he had learned the game well -- and a great shooter, with one of the purest shots I've ever seen in basketball. He was a true Hall of Famer both on and off the court." - Oscar Robertson.


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