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NBA Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes dies

Syracuse Nationals Portraits

SYRACUSE, NY - 1961: Dolph Schayes #4 of the Syracuse Nationals poses for a portrait circa 1961 at the Onondaga War Memorial in Secaucus, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1961 NBAE (Photo by The Stevenson Collection/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE/Getty Images

Bud Poliquin of

Former Syracuse Nationals legend Dolph Schayes died Thursday morning at the age of 87, said his son, Danny.

The NBA star and Central New York icon was diagnosed with terminal cancer six months ago.

Schayes was named to the NBA’s 50 Greatest list in 1996.

Already a pro when the BAA and NBL merged to formed the NBA, Schayes was one of the league’s first stars. He made six All-NBA first teams, six All-NBA second teams and 12 All-Star teams.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released this statement:

“Dolph Schayes was one of the most influential figures in NBA history. He helped the NBA grow from its earliest days, emerging as one of the game’s first stars and displaying the kind of passion for competition and commitment to excellence that has come to define our league. Dolph was an NBA champion, a Hall of Fame player and a distinguished NBA coach and executive, as well as a proud father who relished the success of his four children, including the NBA career of his son Danny. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schayes family during this difficult time.”

Schayes spent his entire 14-year career with the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers, moving with the franchise for his final season. His teams were often overshadowed by the Boston Celtics, but he led Syracuse to the 1955 NBA title.

He was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1973.