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An Unbreakable Bond

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An Unbreakable Bond: The Brotherhood of Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman
CountryUnited States
PublisherSt. Johann Press
Publication date
March 25, 2014[1]
Media typePrint (paperback)
ISBNISBN 978-1-937-94317-2 Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Invalid ISBN. 9781937943172 Search this book on link= 9781937943172.

An Unbreakable Bond: The Brotherhood of Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman is a biographical book written by Pat Farabaugh and published in 2014 by St. Johann Press in Haworth, New Jersey.[2] The book details the lives of Pittsburgh natives and basketball teammates Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman and the relationship between the two men. Stokes became paralyzed in an accident in a professional basketball game and Twyman became his legal guardian and primary caretaker. The Cincinnati Enquirer sports columnist John Erardi described the book as "the best sports book I've read in the last 10 years."[3] John Mehno, a sports writer from Pittsburgh, noted that "you don't have to be a sports fan to appreciate the underlying humanity" of the two men's story.[4]

Stokes seemed destined to become one of the greatest players in the history of the National Basketball Association. He earned All-American honors at Saint Francis College in western Pennsylvania before the Rochester Royals (now the Sacramento Kings) drafted him in 1955.[5] Stokes earned NBA Rookie-of-the-Year honors in 1956 and broke the league's single-season rebounding record in 1957, eclipsing the mark established by Bob Pettit a year earlier.[6]

The direction of Stokes' basketball career and his life changed dramatically on March 12, 1958. During a game against the Minneapolis Lakers, the Cincinnati Royals star (the team had moved to Cincinnati before the 1957–58 season) fell awkwardly and hit his head against the court. He was knocked unconscious.[7] Three days later, Stokes became paralyzed from the neck down as a result of the accident. He would live in three different Cincinnati-area hospitals before dying of a heart attack in 1970 at age 36.[8]

Following the accident, Stokes worked to regain limited use of his arms and legs. His successes during 12 years of grueling physical therapy and rehabilitation were minimal, but his medical expenses were not.

Like Stokes, Twyman was drafted by the Royals in the spring of 1955. He had enjoyed a decorated playing career at the University of Cincinnati.[9] Following Stokes' accident, Twyman became Stokes' legal guardian and assumed responsibility for his friend's medical expenses. He became a tireless fundraiser, raising money that was used to pay Stokes' medical bills.[10]

Twyman successfully sued the state of Ohio on Stokes' behalf in order to secure workman's compensation benefits for his friend.[11] He organized the Maurice Stokes Memorial Basketball Game to raise funds for Stokes and other former players from the NBA's early years who were in financial need. The benefit game was played annually at Kutsher's Hotel and Country Club near Monticello, New York, each August.[12]

Twyman was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983 and Stokes entered the Hall of Fame in 2004.[13] Twyman died in 2012 from cancer at age 78.[14]

In 2013, the NBA announced that Twyman and Stokes would be honored by the league with an annual award.[15] In June of 2013, NBA commissioner David Stern presented Chauncey Billups of the Los Angeles Clippers with the inaugural Twyman-Stokes Teammate-of-the-Year award.[16] It recognizes the player that embodies the league's "ideal" teammate each season.


  1. About the Author
  2. "An Unbreakable Bond". Amazon.
  3. Erardi, John (May 24, 2014). "NBA's Teammate Award One of Area's Best Stories". Cincinnati Enquirer.
  4. Mehno, John (June 4, 2014). "Twyman, Stokes Story One for Ages". Altoona Mirror.
  5. "Maurice Stokes". Saint Francis University.
  6. Friedman, David. "Overlooked and Underrated: Four Fabulous Forwards". 20 Second Timeout. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  7. Aschburner, Steve (March 12, 2008). "50 Years Ago Today, Tumble in Game Here Ended NBA Star's Career". Minneapolis Post.
  8. Maiorana, Sal (April 6, 2013). "Maurice Stokes Passes Away". Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
  9. "University of Cincinnati". University of Cincinnati Homepage.
  10. Farabaugh, Pat (June 3, 2012). "Jack Twyman Was My Hero". Altoona Mirror.
  11. Dwyer, Kelly. "Remembering Jack Twyman, an NBA Saint". Yahoo.
  12. Curtis, Bryan. "The Stokes Game". Grantland.
  13. "Hall of Famers". Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
  14. Martin, Douglas (May 31, 2012). "Jack Twyman, N.B.A. Star Known for Off-Court Assist, Dies at 78". The New York Times.
  15. Zimmerman, Kevin. "NBA Will Announce Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award on Sunday". SBNation.
  16. Devine, Dan. "Chauncey Billups Wins NBA's Inaugural Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award". Yahoo.

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