Dolph Schayes Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

dolph schayes, dolph schayes dead

Dolph Schayes, an NBA legend, has died at age 87. (

Basketball legend Dolph Schayes died today at age 87 due to complications brought on by terminal cancer. Schayes was a member of both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame due to his accomplishments.

Schayes was an icon in New York, as he played both his collegiate and professional ball primarily in the Empire State. Schayes averaged 18.5 points and 12.1 rebounds per game over the course of his NBA career. He was named to the All-Star team 12 times over the course of his professional career.

Here are all the facts you need to know about the all-time basketball great.

1. Dolph Schayes Was Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer 6 Months Ago

Dolph Schayes had been battling cancer for months. Schayes’s son, Danny, informed of his father’s death on Thursday. Schayes was diagnosed with terminal cancer six months ago. Funeral arrangements are still pending, according to his son.

Schayes played his entire 16-season career with the Syracuse/Philadelphia franchise, scoring more than 19,000 points and grabbing more than 11,000 rebounds along the way. Only one of his 16 teams failed to qualify for the NBA playoffs.

2. He Led NYU To The NCAA Title Game as a 16-Year-Old

A 6-foot-8 forward out of the Bronx, Dolph Schayes famously led New York University to the NCAA Final Four and championship game as a 16-year-old freshman center in 1945. The ’45 NCAA Tournament championship bout pitted his New York University Violets against the Oklahoma A&M Aggies, a game which the Aggies topped the Violets, 49-45, before a sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden.

Years later, Schayes would be reminded of this game as he watched a regular-season contest between Syracuse and Miami in 2014 with a nearly identical score and pace-of-game. The Orange topped the Hurricanes, 49-44, and brought Schayes back to his glory days in his mind.

3. He Played For The Syracuse Nationals Before They Became The Philadelphia 76ers

Dolph Schayes was drafted by the Knicks with the fourth pick of the 1948 BAA draft, but his rights were shipped to the Syracuse Nationals franchise shortly thereafter. It was a fateful transaction.

In Syracuse, Schayes starred for 16 seasons and helped win the franchise’s only NBA championship in 1955. He retired in 1964 as the league’s all-time leading scorer at the time, with 19,249 points and played in more games, 1,059, than any other player in history to that point. He also played in 12 All-Star Games over the course of his pro career.

4. He Was Named to the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players

Schayes was a member of both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame due to his accomplishments with the Nationals and New York University. His accolades were added to in 1997, as he was named one of the 50 Greatest NBA Players in history as part of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary.

In 1997, panelists were asked to select the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, without regard to position, according to the NBA. At the start of the 1996-97 season, the NBA also cites, the 50 players had accumulated 107 NBA Championships, 49 Most Valuable Player Awards, 17 Rookie of the Year honors, 447 All-Star Game selections, 36 scoring titles, 923,791 total points and 410,327 total rebounds.

5. His Son Danny Also Played in the NCAA and Had an NBA Career

Dolph Schayes kept his roots in Syracuse long after his career. His son, Danny Schayes, played at high school in the Syracuse area and also went on to play collegiately for Syracuse University. He then followed his father into the NBA, playing 18 seasons for a variety of teams in the 1980s and 1990s, including the Nuggets and Lakers.

After revealing the bad news on Thursday, Danny said his father was the same old person right up until the very end of his life:

“Dolph was Dolph,” Danny Schayes said during a telephone conversation this morning, “right to the end.”

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