Dwayne Schintzius

Last updated

Dwayne Schintzius
Personal information
Born(1968-10-14)October 14, 1968
Brandon, Florida
DiedApril 15, 2012(2012-04-15) (aged 43)
Tampa, Florida
NationalityAmerican
Listed height7 ft 2 in (2.18 m)
Listed weight260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school Brandon (Brandon, Florida)
College Florida (1986–1990)
NBA draft 1990 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24th overall
Selected by the San Antonio Spurs
Playing career1990–2003
Position Center
Number24, 42, 33, 55
Career history
1990–1991 San Antonio Spurs
1991–1992 Sacramento Kings
19921995 New Jersey Nets
1995–1996 Indiana Pacers
1996–1997 Los Angeles Clippers
1999 Boston Celtics
2001–2002 Mobile Revelers
2003 Brevard Blue Ducks
Career NBA statistics
Points 587 (2.7 ppg)
Rebounds 536 (2.5 rpg)
Assists 93 (0.4 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Dwayne Kenneth Schintzius (October 14, 1968 – April 15, 2012) was an American National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball player. He was born in Brandon, Florida and attended the University of Florida, where he helped lead the Florida Gators men's basketball program to its first three NCAA tournament appearances as an all-conference center. Schintzius was selected in the first round of the 1990 NBA draft (24th overall) by the San Antonio Spurs, but chronic back problems reduced his effectiveness, and he played for six different NBA teams over ten seasons in the league, mainly as a reserve player.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a men's professional basketball league in North America; composed of 30 teams. It is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world. The NBA is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player.

Basketball team sport played on a court with baskets on either end

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.

Brandon, Florida Census-designated place in Florida, United States

Brandon is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is part of the Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the CDP had a population of 103,483, up from 77,895 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Off the court, Schintzius was known his distinctive mullet-style haircut that he called "the lobster", his sometimes abrasive behavior, and his performance as a Russian basketball player in the 1996 comedy film Eddie . In 2009, he was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, and, after treatment and a brief remission, died from complications of the disease in 2012.

Mullet (haircut) Male hairstyle

The mullet is a hairstyle in which the hair is cut short at the front and sides, but left long at the back. It is usually worn by men.

<i>Eddie</i> (film) 1996 film by Steve Rash

Eddie is a 1996 comedy film starring Whoopi Goldberg and Frank Langella. The film barely broke even at the box office, grossing $31,387,164 in the US. The film was directed by Steve Rash.

Leukemia group of cancers that usually begin in the bone marrow

Leukemia, also spelled leukaemia, is a group of blood cancers that usually begin in the bone marrow and result in high numbers of abnormal blood cells. These blood cells are not fully developed and are called blasts or leukemia cells. Symptoms may include bleeding and bruising problems, feeling tired, fever, and an increased risk of infections. These symptoms occur due to a lack of normal blood cells. Diagnosis is typically made by blood tests or bone marrow biopsy.

Early years

Schintzius was born in Brandon, Florida, a suburb of Tampa. [1] He attended Brandon High School, [1] where the seven-foot center played for the Brandon Eagles high school basketball team. [2] Together with teammate Toney Mack, Schintzius led lead the Eagles to a Class 4A state runner-up finish as a sophomore, and another Final Four berth as a junior. [3] As a senior, he averaged 21.1 points and 17 rebounds per game, [3] was a finalist for Florida's Mr. Basketball award, and was recognized as a high school All-American by McDonald's and Parade magazine in 1986. [2]

The center (C), also known as the five, or the big man, is one of the five positions in a regular basketball game. The center is normally the tallest player on the team, and often has a great deal of strength and body mass as well. In the NBA, the center is usually 6 feet 10 inches (2.08 m) or taller and usually weighs 240 pounds (110 kg) or more. They traditionally have played close to the basket in the low post. A center with the ability to shoot outside from three-point range is known as stretch five.

<i>Parade</i> (magazine) American Sunday newspaper magazine

Parade is an American nationwide Sunday newspaper magazine, distributed in more than 700 newspapers in the United States. It was founded in 1941 and is owned by Athlon Media Group, which purchased it from Advance Publications. The most widely read magazine in the U.S., Parade has a circulation of 32 million and a readership of 54.1 million. As of 2015, its editor is Anne Krueger.

College career

Schintzius received athletic scholarship offers from many top college programs. Unlike most top Florida high school basketball prospects up to that point, he chose to stay in-state and attend the University of Florida, where he played for the Florida Gators men's basketball team from 1987 to 1990 under head coach Norm Sloan. [4] Schintzius started at center for the Gators beginning early in his freshman season. [4] By the end of his junior season (1988–89), he had led the Gators in scoring, rebounding, and free-throw percentage over at least one full season. [4] He also owned the school record for career blocked shots, and at the end of his junior year, his season totals ranked first, second, and third in school history. [4]

University of Florida Public research university in Gainesville, Florida, United States

The University of Florida is an American public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university in Gainesville, Florida, United States. It is a senior member of the State University System of Florida. The university traces its origins to 1853 and has operated continuously on its Gainesville campus since September 1906.

Florida Gators mens basketball mens basketball team of the University of Florida

The Florida Gators men's basketball team represents the University of Florida in the sport of basketball. The Gators compete in NCAA Division I's Southeastern Conference (SEC). Home games are played in the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center on the university's Gainesville, Florida campus.

Norm Sloan American basketball player and coach

Norman Lesley Sloan Jr., nicknamed "Stormin' Norman," was an American college basketball player and coach. Sloan was a native of Indiana and played college basketball and football at North Carolina State University. He began a long career as a basketball coach months after graduating from college in 1951, and he was the men's basketball head coach at Presbyterian College, The Citadel, North Carolina State University, and two stints as at the University of Florida. Over a career that spanned thirty-eight seasons, Sloan was named conference coach of the year five times and won the 1974 national championship at North Carolina State, his alma mater.

The Gators had never been invited to the NCAA basketball tournament in over seven decades of basketball. However, they made the field during each of Schintztius's three full seasons with the program, advancing to the Sweet Sixteen in 1987. [4] During his junior year, the Gators won their first-ever regular season Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship. [4] Schintzius was recognized as a first-team All-SEC player after that season and was included on multiple All-American lists. [4]

Southeastern Conference College athletics conference of universities in the southern United States

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is an American college athletic conference whose member institutions are located primarily in the Southern part of the United States. Its fourteen members include the flagship public universities of eleven states, two additional public land grant universities, and one private research university. The conference is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. The SEC participates in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I in sports competitions; for football, it is part of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly known as Division I-A.

However, Schintzius' college career was marred by disciplinary problems. [5] He occasionally clashed with Coach Sloan, including one instance in which he refused to re-enter a game with a minute left during his sophomore season. [5] He also had minor incidents with opposing players, fans, and mascots, and with others off the court. [5] [6]

During his junior season, Schintzius allegedly heard a rude remark from a sidewalk while riding in a car outside of Gainesville nightclub and stormed after the offender wielding a tennis racket. [5] Schintzius later apologized and was not charged with a crime, but the university's office of student affairs found him guilty of violating the student code of conduct and suspended him for four games. [5]

After returning from that suspension, fans in opposing arenas occasionally threw tennis balls onto the court, presumably taunting Schintzius for the incident. In January 1989, Florida traveled to Nashville to face the Vanderbilt Commodores in a crucial SEC matchup. [7] Losing 72 - 70, Florida turned the ball over with only one second left on the clock, seemingly sealing a loss. But at that point, someone in the Memorial Gymnasium home crowd threw a tennis ball onto the court. Referee John Clougherty immediately called a technical foul on the Commodores, and Schintzius, who led the Gators in free throw percentage that season, hit both free throws to send the game into overtime. [7] He then scored the Gators' first seven points in the extra period and Florida won the game 81–78. Florida went on to capture the program's first SEC regular season championship, beating Vanderbilt by a single game. [7] [8] [9]

Sloan was forced to resign before Schintzius's senior season of 1989–90 and was replaced on an interim basis by former Tennessee coach Don DeVoe. Schintzius was not happy with this turn of events and skipped DeVoe's first practice with the team along with fellow star Livingston Chatman. [10] Soon after, he was suspended for alleged involvement in a fraternity house fight. [10] DeVoe told Schintzius that in order to rejoin the basketball team, he would have to improve his off-court behavior, maintain his playing weight (he weighed almost 300 pounds at one point), go to class consistently, and get rid of his distinct mullet-style haircut, known as the "lobster.". [5] [10] In a statement released January 25, 1990, Schintzius claimed that he had done all these things, but was nonetheless quitting the team due to conflicts with his new coach. [10] The statement read, in part:

No one can argue that Coach Sloan and Coach Towe (Monte Towe, Sloan's assistant) were easy to play for, and to them you had to accept the coach as the absolute authority and their word as final; but that does not mean I must sail under the authority of Captain Ahab. If you can play for Coach Sloan, you can play for almost anyone, almost anyone. [10]

Without Schintzius, the Gators would lose sixteen of their remaining seventeen games, missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in four years. [11]

Schintzius remains the only player in SEC history to amass more than 1,000 points, 800 rebounds, 250 assists and 250 blocks. [12] He holds the Gators career record for blocks (272), and is currently sixth on the Gators' list for career scoring with 1,624 points. [4] [12]

Professional career

Despite his personal issues, Schintzius was regarded as a good NBA prospect due to his performance on the court. The San Antonio Spurs selected him in the first round (twenty-fourth pick overall) of the 1990 NBA Draft. [1] He injured his back during his rookie season and was traded to the Sacramento Kings for Antoine Carr on September 23, 1991. He later revealed that Spurs general manager Bob Bass disliked his mullet haircut and told him to cut it, which he did. [13] Schintzius then sent Bass the shavings in an envelope. [13] The Kings waived Schintzius during the 1991–92 season, and the New Jersey Nets signed him on October 1, 1992.

Schintzius had several injuries and several surgeries for a spinal disc herniation over the next several years as he moved from team to team in the NBA. [14] [15] He spent three seasons with the New Jersey Nets, a year with the Indiana Pacers, and then a year with the Los Angeles Clippers. [1] After missing the entire 1997–98 season due to injury, he played sixteen games with the Celtics in 1998–99 before retiring from the NBA. [1] In eight NBA seasons, he appeared in 217 regular season games and started thirty-three of them. [1]

He later came out of retirement to play in the minor leagues, and appeared in thirty-five games for the Mobile Revelers of the NBA's Development League in 2001–02. [1] He last played for the Brevard Blue Ducks of the United States Basketball League (USBL) in 2003. [14]

Off the court

Schintzius played Ivan Radovadovitch, a fictional Georgian player for the New York Knicks, in the 1996 comedy movie Eddie , which starred Whoopi Goldberg as the team's female coach. [14] Several other actual NBA players were also featured as members of the Knicks and other real NBA teams in the film. [14] He later appeared in local commercials. [14]

At the trial of his former New Jersey Nets teammate Jayson Williams, he testified that he witnessed Williams kill his own dog with a shotgun. [16]

Illness and death

In November 2009, Schintzius was diagnosed with a chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, a rare and often fatal form of the disease. [17] With a bone marrow donation from his brother Travis, he underwent bone marrow transplantation at the Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa on January 12, 2010. [17] The procedure was considered a success, [18] [19] but Schintzius struggled through several difficult rounds of chemotherapy until being declared cancer-free in July 2010. [17]

In early 2012, Schintzius continued to suffer from complications, and a second bone marrow transplant was required. [20] On April 15, 2012, Schintzius died at the Moffit Cancer Center from respiratory failure; he was 43 years old. [21]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Basketball-Reference.com, Players, Dwayne Schintzius. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  2. 1 2 Bob Hill, "Schintzius Could Make a Big Difference," Sun-Sentinel, p. 1C (November 20, 1986). Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  3. 1 2 Joey Knight, "Tampa Bay's All-Century Team: No. 61 Dwayne Schintzius Archived 2012-03-07 at the Wayback Machine ," The Tampa Tribune (October 30, 1999). Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 2011–12 Florida Gators Men's Basketball Media Guide , University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 74, 76–77, 79, 82, 84, 90, 132–133, 146, 151, 153–154, 157, 159–160, 162, 163, 164, 166 (2011). Retrieved April 16, 2012.
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  6. King, Bill (January 26, 1990). "Schintzius's Career Always Interesting". The Gainesville Sun. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
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  9. "Fans throw Vanderbilt for a loss". The Associated Press. January 26, 1989. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
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  15. Shaun Powell, "Former NBA big man Schintzius fights cancer, ghosts of past," NBA.com (October 19, 2012). Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  16. "Former Net renews claim that Williams shot own dog Archived 2007-04-02 at the Wayback Machine ," CourtTV.com (May 5, 2004). Retrieved March 16, 2007.
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  19. Joey Johnston, "Ex-UF star, NBA player Dwayne Schintzius battling cancer," The Tampa Tribune (February 17, 2010). Retrieved April 16, 2012.
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  21. Michael DiRocco, "Dwayne Schintzius dead at age 43," ESPN (April 15, 2012). Retrieved April 16, 2012.