According to multiple reports, former University of Florida star and NBA center Dwayne Schintzius has passed away from a rare form of leukemia at the age of 43.
The official cause of death was respiratory failure caused by complications from a bone marrow transplant.
The 7’2″ Schintzius played nine seasons in the NBA for six different teams, last playing for the Boston Celtics in 1999.
Over the course of his career, Schintzius averaged 2.7 points per game and 2.5 rebounds per game, never reaching the potential he showed during his time at Florida where he finished No. 5 on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,624 points over four seasons.
Schintzius’ flashy mullet hairstyle, and sense of fashion, often drew him as much attention as his play during his time in the NBA, and a series of injuries derailed what could have been a very productive career had he stayed healthy.
Schintzius had been fighting a rare form of leukemia called Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML), which on average affects only 3 in every 1,000 people nationally. After a 2010 transplant, it appeared that he had been cancer-free, and was largely free of symptoms until a recent relapse which required a second bone marrow transplant.
After walking away from the NBA in 1999, Schintzius worked in sports marketing and made a few cameo movie appearances, including in the basketball movie Eddie starring Whoopi Goldberg in 1999. He stayed in shape until his final days and was promoting a fitness workout and book series before his health became bad enough where he was unable to continue doing so.
It’s always so sad to see an athlete’s life taken at such a young age by an unrelenting and undiscriminating disease like leukemia– much less a rare version like CMML of which so little is known.
Our best wishes to Dwayne Schintzius’ family in this sad time.
He was an original.
More stories about Dwayne Schintzius’ passing:
Bay Area native, UF star Schintzius dead at 43: http://bit.ly/HJHHYN
Former Spur, Net Dwayne Schintzius dies: http://cbsprt.co/HJLcdx