Florida basketball star Dwayne Schintzius dies at age 43

Dwayne Schintzius, former basketball star for the University of Florida, died Sunday at age 43.

Schintzius, who also played in the NBA, was battling cancer for the past two years. He passed away at a hospital in Tampa following a failed bone marrow transplant from his younger brother, Travis, in November.

He played center for the Gators from 1987-1990. This helped Florida get to the NCAA Tournament three times.

During his eight-year professional career, Schintzius would also play for the Sacramento Kings, the New Jersey Nets, the Indiana Pacers, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Boston Celtics.

“I never knew there were so many people who cared about me,” he said when he began treatment in 2010.

He became a first-round NBA pick, the 24th overall selection by the San Antonio Spurs in 1990. Schintzius played the part of a Russian basketball player in the film Eddie (1996), which starred Whoopi Goldberg. He appeared as himself in an episode of the series Arliss.

He was also known for his giant build (over seven feet tall and over 270 pounds) and outspoken, but larger-than-life personality.

“He was my big brother and I looked up to him and idolized him my whole life,” Travis said. “He’s at peace now. He’s not suffering any more. Now he’s probably cracking jokes and making people laugh in heaven.”

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Categories: Basketball