David Whitley has the inspirational story of the weekend about Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes. Jack Twyman passed away on Wednesday, at the age of 78, after a full life as a NBA star (he once averaged over 30 points in a season) who was eventually inducted in the Hall of Fame, who had success off the court in the insurance and grocery industries, and who served as an analyst for ABC.
He also became the caregiver for a teammate who suffered a life altering, debilitating injury in 1958. Maurice Stokes was a star for the Cincinnati Royals in 1958, averaging over 18 rebounds a game. He fell on his head in the last game of the regular season, and three days later had a seizure and went into a coma after the first playoff game. Stokes would never walk again.
At age 24, Twyman applied to become the legal guardian for the 23 year old Stokes in the aftermath, and he and his wife also started the Maurice Stokes Foundation to help pay the medical bills for Stokes. The relationship continued until 1970, when Maurice Stokes passed away from heart failure. It is an inspirational story of a sports relationship bridging the gap in race relations before the Civil Rights Act occurred. Take some time out to read Whitley’s “Remembering Jack Twyman, the Greatest Teammate in the History of the NBA” if you have a moment.
[photo via US Presswire]