Twyman, Former NBA Star and Food Wholesaler, Dies at 78

DAYTON, Ohio — Former food wholesaler John Kennedy “Jack” Twyman, who gained national fame as a professional basketball star and for coming to the aid of an injured teammate, died on Wednesday. He was 78.

The cause of death was blood cancer, according to reports.

From 1972 to 1996, Twyman was chairman and chief executive of Super Food Services, a food wholesaler based here. He was a past chairman of the National-American Wholesale Grocers Association, later renamed Food Distributors International.

Twyman was a star in the National Basketball Association in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1958 his Cincinnati Royals teammate, Maurice Stokes, hit his head on the floor during a game and suffered a brain injury that left him confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Twyman took responsibility for his care and later established an annual fundraiser, the Maurice Stokes Memorial Basketball game, to raise funds for needy former players from the early days of professional basketball.