Six-time NBA All-Star Jack Twyman, who died in May 2012, achieved some great feats on the basketball court. His greatest legacy, however, is the extraordinary kindness he showed to an injured teammate.
In the Cincinnati Royals’ final game of the 1957-58 season, Maurice Stokes flew over the shoulders of an opponent and hit his head on the floor. He was left permanently paralyzed.
Stokes had no one to care for him, so Twyman leapt into the breach. He became Stokes’ legal guardian, helped him learn to communicate again, and raised money for his medical expenses. After Stokes died in 1970, Twyman pressed for his admission to the Hall of Fame. When Stokes was finally elected, in 2004, it was Twyman who accepted the honor for his friend.
And one more thing. In 1958—when the civil rights movement was only beginning—Twyman did what he did even though he was white and Stokes was black. Why? He told the New York Times, “Something had to be done and someone had to do it. I was the only one there, so I became that someone.”
Bear one another’s burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
Show me, Lord, how to help others.