Tom Boerwinkle

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Tom Boerwinkle
Tom Boerwinkle 1969.JPG
Boerwinkle in 1969
Personal information
Born(1945-08-23)August 23, 1945
Cleveland, Ohio
DiedMarch 26, 2013(2013-03-26) (aged 67)
Willowbrook, Illinois
Listed height7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight265 lb (120 kg)
Career information
High school Millersburg Military Institute
(Millersburg, Kentucky)
College Tennessee (1965–1968)
NBA draft 1968: 1st round, 4th overall pick
Selected by the Chicago Bulls
Playing career1968–1978
Position Center
Career history
19681978 Chicago Bulls
Career highlights and awards
  • 2× First-team All-SEC (1967, 1968)
Career statistics
Points 4,596 (7.2 ppg)
Rebounds 5,745 (9.0 rpg)
Assists 2,007 (3.2 apg)
Stats   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg at
Stats at

Thomas F. Boerwinkle (August 23, 1945 – March 26, 2013) was an American National Basketball Association (NBA) center who spent his entire career with the Chicago Bulls.


Early life

Tom Boerwinkle was born in Independence, Ohio, one of three children of John and Katherine Boerwinkle. [1] John Boerwinkle, an engineer for an oil refinery, [2] was a native of Cleveland and the son of Dutch immigrants who had come to the United States in 1890. [3]

He attended high school at Millersburg Military Institute, a now-defunct prep school in Millersburg, Kentucky, later known as Forest Hill Military Academy. [4]

College career

Boerwinkle played for the University of Tennessee and helped the team win the 1967 Southeastern Conference championship. The next year, he was named a Helms Foundation first-team all-American. [5]

In his junior and senior seasons, he averaged a double-double each season—10.2 points and 12.2 rebounds his junior season and 11.3 points and 15.2 rebounds his senior season. [6]

Professional career

Boerwinkle was drafted as the fourth pick of the 1968 NBA draft and played with the Bulls until 1978. Although largely unappreciated during his playing days, Boerwinkle was a very efficient player, using his brawny seven-foot frame to grab rebounds and set picks while teammates like Jerry Sloan, Chet Walker and Bob Love did most of the scoring.

In addition, Boerwinkle contributed with his passing skills, averaging 3.2 assists per game during his career. Acting as a distribution hub from the center position, he helped set a precedent for future passing big men such as two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokić. On January 8, 1970, Boerwinkle set a Bulls record by grabbing 37 rebounds against the Phoenix Suns. He retired with career totals of 4,596 points, 5,745 rebounds, and 2,007 assists. Boerwinkle also had five triple doubles in his career. [7]

Later life

Boerwinkle later served as a radio color analyst for the Bulls. [8] He was a longtime co-owner of the Olympic Oil Co. in Stickney, Illinois. [9]

Boerwinkle died on March 26, 2013, in Willowbrook, Illinois, after struggling with myelodysplastic syndrome, a form of leukemia. [10]

Upon his death, longtime Bulls teammate Bob Love said, "He was a great teammate with a heart of gold. And I always tell people: Half of my baskets came from him. He's one of the best-passing big men of all-time." Hall of Fame center and Bulls teammate Artis Gilmore said, "He understood his role extremely well. He had a very big body and he absorbed a lot of space. With those behind-the-back and over-the-head passes, he was very good. He understood the game and he played intelligent basketball." [11]

He was survived by his wife of 41 years, [1] Linda, son Jeff and daughter Gretchen. [11]

Career statistics

  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage 3P%  3-point field goal percentage FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game APG  Assists per game SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high


Regular season

NBA regular season playing statistics [12]
1968–69 Chicago 8029.6.383.65311.12.29.8
1969–70 Chicago 8128.8.449.66412.52.810.4
1970–71 Chicago 8228.9.485.72413.84.810.8
1971–72 Chicago 8025.3.438.65611.23.57.0
1972–73 Chicago 822.0.375.6006.85.03.8
1973–74 Chicago 4613.1.487.7004.
1974–75 Chicago 8014.7.487.7684.
1975–76 Chicago 7427.6.500.66710.
1976–77 Chicago 8213.0.491.5403.
1977–78 Chicago 2210.3.460.7692.


NBA playoff playing statistics [12]
1970 Chicago 535.4.506.61514.43.217.6
1971 Chicago 724.1.463.7149.64.46.1
1972 Chicago 18.0.0006.03.0.0
1973 Chicago 47.5.6671.0002.32.82.3
1974 Chicago 23.5.0001.
1975 Chicago 1329.0.439.80012.
1977 Chicago 35.7.2003.

See also


  1. 1 2 "Thomas F. Boerwinkle's Obituary on Chicago Tribune". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  2. "". FamilySearch . Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  3. "Family Search". FamilySearch . Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  4. "Tom Boerwinkle Past Stats, Playoff Stats, Statistics, History, and Awards". Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  5. Yardley, William (March 28, 2013), "Tom Boerwinkle, Who Had Night to Remember as a Rebounder, Dies at 67", The New York Times
  6. Mattingly, Tom (March 28, 2013). ""One Last Hurrah"". Tom Mattingly's Vol Historian. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  7. "Tom Boerwinkle: My Most MemoraBull Game". Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  8. Chicago Bulls media guide. Retrieved on July 7, 2008.
  9. Logan, Bob (March 8, 1985). "Old Bulls Coming Back For Another Shot". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  10. "Former Bulls standout Boerwinkle dies at 67". ESPN. March 27, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  11. 1 2 Mitchell, Fred (March 27, 2013). "Former Chicago Bulls center Tom Boerwinkle dies at 67". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  12. 1 2 "Tom Boerwinkle". Basketball Reference . Retrieved May 25, 2022.

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