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Administrator 12/02--7/07
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Discussion Starter #2
http://pr.tennessee.edu/alumnus/alumarticle.asp?id=418

Tom Boerwinkle: A Wasted Scholarship?

Sounds like your standard success story, doesn’t it? That former Vol hoopster Tom Boerwinkle was a two-time All-SEC selection and had a 10-year pro career with the Chicago Bulls is a nice story. But when you look below the surface, it’s a Horatio Alger story that—even 35 years later—gives you a good feeling.

Boerwinkle was the University of Tennessee’s "legend" at the SEC basketball tournament this past March. He joined an impressive group of legends from the SEC member schools March 13 through 16 in New Orleans.

Perhaps no other Tennessee player has ever demonstrated the value of perseverance as much as Boerwinkle. The recruiting gurus of the early 1960s called him a wasted scholarship. But look at the Vols record book, and the name Boerwinkle jumps out in several categories. The seven-footer averaged 12.0 points per game in that SEC title run of 1967 and 15.2 a year later when he garnered All-America honors. (The only Vols to average in double figures for three years are Carl Widseth, Bernard King, and Gene Tormohlen.)

Boerwinkle played 10 years with the Chicago Bulls. "Never in my wildest fantasy did I dream of playing professional basketball," he said. "I kept telling myself I couldn’t even play college ball, so how could I play in the NBA?"

He blossomed in the pros the same way he did in college. In 1971, he was averaging 11 points and 14 rebounds against the likes of Willis Reed, Wilt Chamberlain, Karem Abdul-Jabbar, and Wes Unseld, another member of that 1968 All-America team. He averaged 7.2 points and 9.0 rebounds over his pro career of 635 games, including the one on January 8, 1970, when he made a franchise-record 37 rebounds against the Phoenix Suns at Chicago Stadium. He followed his career as a Bulls player with time in their broadcast booth.

Boerwinkle now lives in Burr Ridge, Illinois, where he is in business. When the Knoxville Journal selected its all-time Tennessee team for the 1953 to 1983 era, Tom Boerwinkle was one of the top 10 players.

Ray Mears and Bill Gibbs, working hard to build a program at Tennessee, took a chance on Boerwinkle and were amply rewarded. The big guy, known to his teammates as "Bull," certainly left his mark.

Boerwinkle himself has one specific memory of his time as a Vol: "I remember the wins over Kentucky."
 

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Administrator 12/02--7/07
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36,839 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/cs-061114chicagolist,1,5175102.story?coll=cs-bears-headlines

We asked Chicago Tribune staffers to come up with some underappreciated Chicago athletes. Here are some of the names they mentioned. Go to the right to offer some of yours.

Bill Madlock won back-to-back batting titles, but was traded by the Cubs because he was perceived as outspoken. ... Billy Williams is a Hall of Famer, but he had his best years in the Mays-Aaron-Clemente era and had a hard time making the All-Star team because there were so many great outfielders, and he never won an MVP award despite some monster seasons. ... All the Cubs were overappreciated. ... Aaron Rowand: World Series champs with him, Sox out of playoffs without him. ... Robin Ventura excelled in shadow of Frank Thomas. ... Luke Appling—you never hear about him because White Sox history is so bad. ... Tom Boerwinkle was easy to make fun of because of his name and his height, but he was a pretty good rebounder and a great passer for a big man. ... John Paxson? Horace Grant? ... Scottie Pippen ("Yes, I think he was underappreciated.") ... Northwestern QB Steve Schnur. Seems like Darnell Autry got all the pub on that Rose Bowl team. ...

Bill White comes to mind. Rock-steady defenseman, but nobody was going to win a Norris Trophy with Bobby Orr in the league. ... Roland Harper, Walter Payton's blocking back, who had a lot of yards in his own right when fullbacks actually ran the ball. ... Mike Hartenstine, the least-known defensive lineman on a line that featured Dan Hampton, Richard Dent and Steve McMichael. ... Doug Buffone, overlooked because he played next to Dick Butkus. But he was a very good player in his own right.

http://www.nba.com/bulls/history/boerwinkle_700108.html

Tom Boerwinkle: My Most MemoraBull Game

I’ve always told people that I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have had such a long career with the Chicago Bulls. I played in Chicago for 10 seasons, and only Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen played more. To be surrounded by a core group of Norm Van Lier, Jerry Sloan, Chet Walker, and Bob Love for so many years was truly a blessing.
It was a huge thrill to come so close to the NBA Finals, as we did in 1974 and 1975, even if we fell a little short. But my favorite game with the Bulls—a game that gave new meaning to home-court advantage—came more than 35 years ago, on January 8, 1970.
You might be thinking, “A game in January? In 1970?” But let me tell you, this one was beyond belief.
In early January 1970, one of the most wicked cold snaps in Chicago history was paralyzing the city; by January 8, it had been below zero for 10 straight days. Of course, you normally wouldn’t worry how cold it was outside when playing a game indoors at Chicago Stadium, but Murphy’s Law applied to this game—the Stadium’s heater was broken. And as the teams and officials were discussing whether to play the game at all on that very chilly night, there was one little secret nobody knew: I was a cold-weather person.
Unusual circumstances weren’t anything new to me in my young career with the Bulls. I was drafted at a time when the ABA was competing for players with the NBA. The ABA would conduct drafts of college or NBA players at the drop of a hat—many of them “secret” drafts—and by the end of my senior season at the University of Tennessee, the Denver Rockets of the ABA had drafted me.
So I had already been drafted by one professional team when I participated in the U.S. Olympic team trials in 1968. It was there in Indianapolis where I received an unexpected visitor in the middle of the night: DePaul University Coach Ray Meyer. Ray, who was under consideration as the next head coach of the Bulls, came to tell me that the NBA was holding its own secret draft the next day. He wanted to know, on behalf of the Bulls, if I had already committed to Denver; otherwise, the Bulls were going to draft me No. 4 overall. That’s just what happened, and I ended up choosing the Bulls and fulfilling my dream to play in the NBA.
At my first NBA training camp a few months later, I almost came to regret that choice. Dick Motta had been hired as Chicago’s new head coach at only 37 years old, with no prior NBA experience, and he was determined to set a hard-working tone right off the bat. I was expected to participate in a rookie/free-agent camp a couple of weeks before the veterans arrived. They invited a lot of players to rookie camp—there were probably a half-dozen drafted players and another 15 walk-ons. Dick ran us so hard that every morning my roommate, second-round selection Loy Petersen, would have to pull me out of bed because I was so sore, I couldn’t move on my own. We had two-a-days that exceeded anything I could imagine.
I wasn’t the only one getting killed by Motta’s practices. Some of the free agents who were long shots to make the team would leave in the middle of the night. We’d do a head count every morning at breakfast to see who had run away and left training camp.


It actually got so bad that our team trainer, Jerry McCann, started calling all the veteran players, who would be reporting in a week or two, to tell them that they’d better show up in good shape; otherwise, Motta was going to kill them. As it turned out, Dick lightened things up a little bit once the vets arrived, but I’m sure Jerry’s call threw a real scare into them.
This game versus Phoenix came in the middle of my second year. I’d led the Bulls in rebounding in my rookie season, and was on pace to do the same in 1969-70. Motta had carved out a well-defined role for me at center: I distributed the ball from the high post to our scorers, Walker and Love. Those two had an amazing ability to work in close to the basket, so I would dish to them inside and then crash the boards for offensive rebounds. Otherwise, I set picks like any other center, and hopefully could pick up some cheap buckets underneath as well.
I’ve always described our Bulls team as a bunch of role players. You might say my role was to do a lot of the dirty work, but I was proud of being in such a pivotal position on a successful team for many years. I never looked at the game in an individual sense; I’ve always operated best within a system. Besides, Bob Love says he still dreams of my back-door passes to him for layups, and I’m ranked seventh all-time on the Bulls in assists, so something must have been working right.
It’s funny enough to picture all 5,086 fans who braved the elements that night, wearing their hats, scarves, and gloves during the game. You certainly don’t arrive at an indoor basketball game expecting to see your breath when you cheer for your favorite player. But it wasn’t just the fans who were bundled up—the players on both benches wore coats and mittens to stay warm. It was only about 40 degrees inside the Stadium that night, so could you blame us?
You couldn’t have asked for a better team to play under these imperfect circumstances than a team from the desert. And Phoenix acted like they’d been dropped off at the North Pole; we jumped on them right away. It was 34-20 after the first quarter, and a runaway 78-51 by the half.
Good things were happening to me from the opening tip. Never had I experienced the breaks—not in high school, college, or the pros—that I did on that night. Everything was bouncing my way. I had 12 rebounds by the end of the first quarter, and was closing in on 20 by halftime. Balls were just finding their way to me; I was in the right place at the right time all the time. Things just snowballed from there.
The Phoenix franchise was two years younger than ours. Johnny Kerr, who was the first coach of the expansion Bulls and had left to take the same challenge in Phoenix, had just been fired by the Suns. Both teams had similar records heading into the game; the Bulls were 20-25 and the Suns 17-25. Phoenix “rallied” their way into the playoffs by the end of the year, finishing 39-43, and nearly upset the Los Angeles Lakers by pushing them to seven games in the playoffs. Connie Hawkins, Gail Goodrich and Paul Silas were the nucleus of the Suns, so this was a strong team we were facing.


Of course, we were very similar to Phoenix, a team of great promise. I had no idea we’d one day be just seconds away from making it to the NBA Finals, but I sensed that there were some good things happening. The club was starting to really jell. Norm Van Lier wasn’t back with the Bulls yet, but four of the other core players were learning to play together: me, Love, Walker, and Jerry Sloan. Like the Suns, we would also finish 39-43 and be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs—we lost to the Atlanta Hawks in five games.
There was a great sense of the team coming together. We were certainly heading in the right direction and building a lot of confidence. What I liked best was that the Chicago fans started to get some understanding and appreciation of what we were trying to do.
Despite how evenly matched the teams appeared to be on paper, we proved to have a major advantage in this “Ice Bowl” game. We continued to roll after halftime, and by the end of the third quarter, we were up 115-80.
I already had played more than my average minutes for the season, which were around 30. I wasn’t on the floor much in the third quarter because we were up so big, but by the end of the game, I had tallied an unimaginable 37 rebounds—in 35 minutes. It was an all-time Bulls record, and it stands to this day.
You might wonder why I didn’t shoot for 50 rebounds, seeing as how I played somewhat sparingly in the second half—and I probably could have finished with 40 with my gloves on. Well, I was never much for individual records. One of the worst things an athlete can do is get caught up in records and numbers—it sets an unrealistic expectation every time out. For me, an individual record just wasn’t that important. At one point, when I was on the bench in the 4th, someone from the scoring table walked down with a sign that said “Rebounds—37,” indicating I should go back into the game to grab some more boards. But I wasn’t interested in doing that. To go back in would have been solely to pad my stats. I wanted the Bulls to win, have me and my teammates stay healthy, and that’s it.
There’s another thing about that game I’m very proud of. We finished with five players scoring 20 points or more: I had 22 points; Bob Love had 34, Bobby Weiss and Clem Haskins 24, and Chet Walker 21. It’s a Bulls record that still stands, and that’s appropriate for our team, which made it a priority to share the ball.
I look at the box score today, and one thing really jumps out at me that I have no recollection of: the length of the game. Phoenix committed 44 fouls—still an opponent record vs. the Bulls—to our 16, which gave us an unimaginable 71 free throws, another team record. Do you realize how long it must have taken to finish a game where one team shot 71 free throws? By the fourth quarter, I don’t know if there were any fans left. The more I think about it, I wonder if it was because the game was a runaway, the temperature in the stands—or having to watch a never-ending parade of players to the foul line.
The funniest thing that struck me in looking back at the game is that even though we ran away with the contest early, three Bulls played more than 40 minutes: Haskins (45) Weiss (45), and Love (43). That doesn’t make a lot of sense, until you factor in the cold. I figure that while those three didn’t need to be in the game that long, it must have beaten sitting on the bench in their mittens and shivering.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Boerwinkle

Thomas F. Boerwinkle (b. August 23, 1945 in Cleveland, Ohio) is a former National Basketball Association center who spent his entire career with the Chicago Bulls.

Boerwinkle was drafted out of the University of Tennessee with the 4th pick of the 1968 NBA Draft and played with the Bulls until 1978. Although largely unappreciated during his playing days, Boerwinkle was a very efficient player, using his brawny seven-foot frame to grab rebounds and set picks while teammates like Jerry Sloan, Chet Walker and Bob Love did most of the scoring. On January 8, 1970, Boerwinkle set a Bulls record by grabbing 37 rebounds against the Phoenix Suns.

Boerwinkle has also been considered one of the best-passing big men to ever play basketball. He retired with career totals of 4,596 points, 5,745 rebounds, and 2,007 assists.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/boerwto01.html

Tom Boerwinkle (Compare)
Thomas F. Boerwinkle (Tom)


Position: C
Height: 7'0" Weight: 265 lbs.
Born: August 23, 1945 in Cleveland, OH
High School: Millensborg Military in Cleveland, OH
College: University of Tennessee


Drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the 1st round (4th pick) of the 1968 NBA draft.

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Totals
Click on the Tm for team roster, statistics, and leaders.
Click on the Lg for league statistics, leaders, and standings.
Click on the GL for season game log, if available.

Glossary

Year Ag Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
+---------------+----+----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+-----+-----+----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+----+----+-----+
1969 23 CHI NBA 80 2365 318 831 145 222 889 178 317 781
1970 24 CHI NBA 81 2335 348 775 150 226 1016 229 255 846
1971 25 CHI NBA 82 2370 357 736 168 232 1133 397 275 882
1972 26 CHI NBA 80 2022 219 500 118 180 897 281 253 556
1973 27 CHI NBA 8 176 9 24 12 20 54 40 22 30
1974 28 CHI NBA 46 602 58 119 42 60 53 160 213 94 16 18 80 158
1975 29 CHI NBA 80 1175 132 271 73 95 105 275 380 272 25 45 163 337
1976 30 CHI NBA 74 2045 265 530 118 177 263 529 792 283 47 52 263 648
1977 31 CHI NBA 82 1070 134 273 34 63 101 211 312 189 19 19 147 302
1978 32 CHI NBA 22 227 23 50 10 13 14 45 59 44 3 4 26 36 56
+---------------+----+----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+-----+-----+----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+----+----+-----+
10 Seasons 635 14387 1863 4109 870 1288 536 1220 5745 2007 110 138 26 1811 4596
+---------------+----+----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+-----+-----+----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+----+----+-----+
82-Game Avg 1858 241 531 112 166 145 329 742 259 30 37 97 234 593
Career High 82 2370 357 831 168 232 263 529 1133 397 47 52 26 317 882
+---------------+----+----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+-----+-----+----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+----+----+-----+

Per Game
Glossary

Year Ag Tm Lg G MP FG FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
+---------------+----+----+----+----+---+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+---+---+---+---+----+
1969 23 CHI NBA 80 29.6 4.0 10.4 1.8 2.8 11.1 2.2 4.0 9.8
1970 24 CHI NBA 81 28.8 4.3 9.6 1.9 2.8 12.5 2.8 3.1 10.4
1971 25 CHI NBA 82 28.9 4.4 9.0 2.0 2.8 13.8 4.8 3.4 10.8
1972 26 CHI NBA 80 25.3 2.7 6.3 1.5 2.3 11.2 3.5 3.2 7.0
1973 27 CHI NBA 8 22.0 1.1 3.0 1.5 2.5 6.8 5.0 2.8 3.8
1974 28 CHI NBA 46 13.1 1.3 2.6 0.9 1.3 1.2 3.5 4.6 2.0 0.3 0.4 1.7 3.4
1975 29 CHI NBA 80 14.7 1.7 3.4 0.9 1.2 1.3 3.4 4.8 3.4 0.3 0.6 2.0 4.2
1976 30 CHI NBA 74 27.6 3.6 7.2 1.6 2.4 3.6 7.1 10.7 3.8 0.6 0.7 3.6 8.8
1977 31 CHI NBA 82 13.0 1.6 3.3 0.4 0.8 1.2 2.6 3.8 2.3 0.2 0.2 1.8 3.7
1978 32 CHI NBA 22 10.3 1.0 2.3 0.5 0.6 0.6 2.0 2.7 2.0 0.1 0.2 1.2 1.6 2.5
+---------------+----+----+----+----+---+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+---+---+---+---+----+
10 Seasons 635 22.7 2.9 6.5 1.4 2.0 1.8 4.0 9.0 3.2 0.4 0.5 1.2 2.9 7.2
+---------------+----+----+----+----+---+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+---+---+---+---+----+

Per 40 Minutes
Glossary

Year Ag Tm Lg G MP FG FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
+---------------+----+-----+----+----+---+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+---+---+---+---+----+
1969 23 CHI NBA 80 2365 5.4 14.1 2.5 3.8 15.0 3.0 5.4 13.2
1970 24 CHI NBA 81 2335 6.0 13.3 2.6 3.9 17.4 3.9 4.4 14.5
1971 25 CHI NBA 82 2370 6.0 12.4 2.8 3.9 19.1 6.7 4.6 14.9
1972 26 CHI NBA 80 2022 4.3 9.9 2.3 3.6 17.7 5.6 5.0 11.0
1973 27 CHI NBA 8 176 2.0 5.5 2.7 4.5 12.3 9.1 5.0 6.8
1974 28 CHI NBA 46 602 3.9 7.9 2.8 4.0 3.5 10.6 14.2 6.2 1.1 1.2 5.3 10.5
1975 29 CHI NBA 80 1175 4.5 9.2 2.5 3.2 3.6 9.4 12.9 9.3 0.9 1.5 5.5 11.5
1976 30 CHI NBA 74 2045 5.2 10.4 2.3 3.5 5.1 10.3 15.5 5.5 0.9 1.0 5.1 12.7
1977 31 CHI NBA 82 1070 5.0 10.2 1.3 2.4 3.8 7.9 11.7 7.1 0.7 0.7 5.5 11.3
1978 32 CHI NBA 22 227 4.1 8.8 1.8 2.3 2.5 7.9 10.4 7.8 0.5 0.7 4.6 6.3 9.9
+---------------+----+-----+----+----+---+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+---+---+---+---+----+
10 Seasons 635 14387 5.2 11.4 2.4 3.6 4.2 9.5 16.0 5.6 0.9 1.1 4.6 5.0 12.8
+---------------+----+-----+----+----+---+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+---+---+---+---+----+

Advanced
Glossary

Year Ag Tm Lg G FG% 3P% FT% eFG% TS% AsR ToR Usg RbR PER ORtg DRtg lgRtg PW PL PW% WS
+---------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+-----+----+----+----+----+----+----+-----+-----+-----+-----+----+
1969 23 CHI NBA 80 .383 .653 .383 .420| 12.9| |
1970 24 CHI NBA 81 .449 .664 .449 .484| 15.3| |
1971 25 CHI NBA 82 .485 .724 .485 .526| 22.6 20.4| |
1972 26 CHI NBA 80 .438 .656 .438 .480| 21.1 15.9| |
1973 27 CHI NBA 8 .375 .600 .375 .457| 15.4 14.3| |
1974 28 CHI NBA 46 .487 .700 .487 .543| 18.3 15.4| 90 |
1975 29 CHI NBA 80 .487 .768 .487 .539| 17.0 18.6| 92 |
1976 30 CHI NBA 74 .500 .667 .500 .533| 19.5 17.7| 95 |
1977 31 CHI NBA 82 .491 .540 .491 .502| 15.2 14.7| 97 |
1978 32 CHI NBA 22 .460 .769 .460 .503| 35.0 20.7 17.9 14.2 10.3| 92 103 101 0.2 0.7 .179| 1
+---------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+-----+----+----+----+----+----+----+-----+-----+-----+-----+----+
10 Seasons 635 .453 .675 .453 .491| 35.0 20.7 17.9 19.6 16.3| 92 94 101 0.2 0.7 .179| 1
+---------------+----+----+----+----+----+----+-----+----+----+----+----+----+----+-----+-----+-----+-----+----+

Playoffs
Glossary

+-------------------------------------------------------------------+------------+------------------+
| Total | Shooting | Per Game |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------+------------+------------------+
Year Ag Tm Lg | G MP FG FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA TRB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS| FG% 3P% FT%| MP TRB AST PTS|
+---------------+---+----+----+----+---+---+----+----+----+----+---+---+---+---+----+----+---+---+---+----+----+----+
1970 24 CHI NBA| 5 177 40 79 8 13 72 16 19 88| 51 62| 35 14.4 3.2 17.6|
1971 25 CHI NBA| 7 169 19 41 5 7 67 31 17 43| 46 71| 24 9.6 4.4 6.1|
1972 26 CHI NBA| 1 8 0 3 0 0 6 3 0 0| 0 | 8 6.0 3.0 0.0|
1973 27 CHI NBA| 4 30 4 6 1 1 9 11 7 9| 67 100| 8 2.3 2.8 2.3|
1974 28 CHI NBA| 2 7 0 1 2 2 1 0 2 2| 0 100| 4 0.5 0.0 1.0|
1975 29 CHI NBA| 13 377 43 98 20 25 165 55 48 106| 44 80| 29 12.7 4.2 8.2|
1977 31 CHI NBA| 3 17 1 5 0 0 10 7 1 2| 20 | 6 3.3 2.3 0.7|
+---------------+---+----+----+----+---+---+----+----+----+----+---+---+---+---+----+----+---+---+---+----+----+----+
7 Seasons | 35 785 107 233 36 48 330 123 94 250| 46 75| 22 9.4 3.5 7.1|
+---------------+---+----+----+----+---+---+----+----+----+----+---+---+---+---+----+----+---+---+---+----+----+----+


http://utsports.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/021403aab.html

Former All-America Tom Boerwinkle to be Honored as Vols' Chick-fil-A SEC Legend
Each League Member Will Have Honoree at SEC Tournament March 13-16


Feb. 14, 2003



2003 SEC Tournament | 2003 Chick-fil-A SEC Legends

A native of Independence, Ohio, Boerwinkle was the first 7-foot player in Tennessee history. He helped lead Tennessee to the 1967 SEC Championship with a 21-7 overall record and 15-3 league mark. Boerwinkle was first team All-SEC in 1967 and 1968 and in 1968 was named Helms Foundation first team All-America. He led UT in rebounding in 1967 (10.2) and 1968 (11.3). Boerwinkle was 4th overall pick by Chicago Bulls in the 1968 NBA Draft and played 10 seasons for Chicago (1968-78).
University of Tennessee nomination for 2003 Legends of SEC Basketball

Sounds like your standard success story, doesn't it? That Tom Boerwinkle was a two-time All-SEC selection and had a 10-year pro career with the Bulls is a nice story on the surface, but, once you look back at the entire picture, you get another perspective. It's a Horatio Alger story, one that, even 35 years later, gives you a good feeling.

Boerwinkle joins an impressive list from the SEC member schools March 13-16 in New Orleans. Selected from the member institutions are Keith Askins, Alabama (1987-1990), Lee Mayberry, Arkansas (1989-1992), Bill Alexander, Auburn (1966-1970), Gary Keller, Florida (1965-1967), James Banks, Georgia (1981-1984), Jack Givens, Kentucky (1975-1978), Pete Maravich, LSU (1967-1970), Carlos Clark, Mississippi (1980-1983), Joe Dan Gold, Mississippi State (1961-63), Mike Dunleavy, South Carolina (1973-1976), and Will Perdue, Vanderbilt (1983-1988).

Perhaps no other Tennessee player has ever demonstrated the value of a "don't give-up-the-ship attitude" as much as Tom Boerwinkle. The recruiting gurus of the early 1960s had all the standard responses, calling him a wasted scholarship.

He survived a redshirt season in 1964-65, played very little as a sophomore in 1965-66 then suddenly bloomed as a junior as one of the outstanding pivot men in the college game. When the helms Foundation All-America team was selected in 1968, the named "Tom Boerwinkle" was right there on the list, right below Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) of UCLA.

The path from Millersburg Academy in Millersburg, Ky., to All-America status is the stuff of which dreams are made. This is his story.

One college scout called him, "the worst big man I've ever seen." Published reports indicated that Tennessee, led by the indomitable Ray Mears, who was not afraid to take a chance when necessary, was the only major school interested. Mears later said it was the best gamble he'd ever taken.

"I've very definitely gotten more satisfaction out of watching him develop than any boy I've coached," Mears said. "It's always pleasing as a coach to see a boy who is limited surpass his potential."

He spent much of his early time at Tennessee plying his trade against such Vols as Howard Bayne and Red Robbins. For Boerwinkle, it was either get better or hit the road. Those guys were tough inside and gave the young Boerwinkle all he could handle.
" That's how he became aggressive," Mears said. "You either were aggressive against those boys, to they'd knock you off the floor."

Boerwinkle persisted in his training and, when his time came in 1966-67, he became a starter on the "Fearless Five," a team that, like Boerwinkle, surpassed all expectations to win the SEC and finish 21-7.

You look at the Vols record book and the name "Boerwinkle" stands out in several categories. He averaged 12.0 points per game in that SEC title run of 1967 and 15.2 a year later when he garnered All-America honors. Only Carl Widseth, Bernard King and Gene Tormohlen have averaged double figure boards for three years during their careers.

Boerwinkle did it twice. His career average of 9.2 boards per game is tied for fifth on Vols record books. His 11.3 boards per game in 1968 stand as the 10th best mark all-time, while his 10.2 in 1967 is 15th overall. He was a crowd favorite at Stokely Center. When it came crunch time in the SEC title-clinching game in Starkville in 1967, Boerwinkle was on the court all 55 minutes. They, whoever "they" are, said he couldn't last, but he did. He calmed the doubters that night, much the way he did his entire career.

He played 10 years with the Chicago Bulls. "Never in my wildest fantasy did I dream of playing professional basketball," he said. "I kept telling myself that I couldn't even play college ball, so how could I play in the NBA?"

He blossomed in the pros the same way he did in college. In 1971, he was averaging 11 points and 14 rebounds against the likes of Willis Reed, Wilt Chamberlain, Lew Alcindor/Abdul-Jabbar and Wes Unseld, another member of that All-America team in 1968. He averaged 7.2 points and 9.0 rebounds over his career. He played in 635 games for the Bulls. It was Jan. 8, 1970, that he had a franchise record 37 rebounds against the Phoenix Suns at Chicago Stadium.

He followed his career as a player with the Bulls with time in the broadcast booth. He now lives in Burr Ridge, Ill., and is in private business there. When the Knoxville Journal selected its all time Tennessee team for the 1953-83 modern era, there was Tom Boerwinkle on the second team, among the Top 10 players of that 30-year period.
Boerwinkle was mentioned in the same breath with likes of Bernie and Ernie, Dale Ellis, A. W. Davis, Reggie Johnson, classmate Ron Widby, Danny Schultz, Jimmy England and Gary Carter.

Boerwinkle remembers the good times as a hoopster. "I remember my first game in Madison Square Garden. I remember that triple overtime game with Mississippi State."

Sometimes you overlook a diamond in the rough, simply because it's rough. That doesn't make it any less of a diamond. Ray Mears and Bill Gibbs, working hard to build a program at Tennessee, took a chance on Boerwinkle and were amply rewarded. The big guy, known to his teammates as "Bull," made his mark on the Vols.

It remained for Tom to put things into perspective, recalling his days in Millersburg. Like most Vols fans, he has one specific memory of his time as a Vol.

"I remember the wins over Kentucky."
http://www.knoxnews.com/kns/gvx_vol_basketball/article/0,1406,KNS_19596_4515614,00.html


Posted by: voleboy at March 6, 2006 11:21 AM
From Brett Ballantini, Chicago sportswriter who wrote the aforementioned interview with Tom Boerwinkle. "I know of two things Tom did since his retirement from the Bulls. He was a radio broadcaster for the team for a time--if not pre-Michael Jordan, at least in the pre-championship era. He was/is also in private business in the Chicago area, and I want to say he works in management for a refinery or water treatment company. He seems very content in retirement and doesn't much miss the game. He is unsentimental about his playing career, but not in a bad or negative way. He's just a matter-of-fact kind of guy."

http://pr.utk.edu/etorch/2007/02/thestrip2.shtml

I remember coming out of the T Room café in 1968 and seeing Tom Boerwinkle sitting on the window sill of the café. His legs were so long, he extended his legs all the way across the sidewalk and into Cumberland Avenue. (Tom is a 7 footer who played basketball for UT and the Chicago Bulls.) We politely walked out into Cumberland to avoid disturbing him!
—Michael David Rich ’69
http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/basketball/bulls/cs-070119bullsbits,1,5728391.story?coll=cs-bulls-headlines

NBA Coach of the Year awards aren't given for lifetime achievement or else Utah's Jerry Sloan would own one.

Then again, there are many who believe Sloan should have one anyway. Such talk is surfacing again with Utah off to its surprising 26-14 start.

"The fact he doesn't have any, I think that's silly," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "I think a lot of those awards are popularity contests, unfortunately."

Skiles grew up a Bulls fan in northwest Indiana. If the television reception cooperated, he occasionally would catch those outstanding Bulls teams of the 1970s that featured Sloan, Norm Van Lier, Chet Walker, Bob Love and Tom Boerwinkle.

His appreciation for Sloan's style hasn't stopped as the two have become acquaintances and peers who will face each other Saturday night at the United Center.

http://www.ticketssport.com/nba/bulls.php

The Chicago Bulls is a National Basketball Association team based in Chicago, Illinois. The team was founded in 1966. In late 60s the head coach of the team was Tom Heinsohn. In 1966-67 their first year of play, the Bulls managed to make to the playoffs. In the 70s the Bulls was one of the best defensive team and the line up consisted of forwards Jerry Sloan, Bob Love, Chet Walker, point guard Norm Van Lier and center Tom Boerwinkle. In late 70s Bulls drafted center Atris Gilmore, who helped the Bulls to reach the NBA league. The team's scenario changed in 1980, when the team drafted shooting guard Michael Jordan in 1984, who later became the greatest player in the NBA history. Jordan set franchise records during his rookie campaign for scoring and steals and led the Bulls back to the playoffs, for which he was rewarded with a berth on the All-NBA second team and Rookie of the Year. In 1986-87, Jordan's name was a regular feature in the record books, leading the league in score with 37.1 points per game and being the first Bull named to the all-NBA first team. In 1987-88 Jordan was named NBA Most Valuable Player, the first of five awards that he bagged. The starting lineup included Paxson, Jordan, Pippen, Grant, and Cartwright who led the team to the Eastern Conference Finals, but could not clear the finals and were defeated by Pistons. In the early 1990s, the Bulls assembled a strong supporting cast for Jordan and won three consecutive NBA titles, becoming only the third franchise in history to string together a trio of crowns. After more than a year of "retirement" to try his hand at professional baseball, Jordan returned to lead the Bulls back to another title in 1996, one more in 1997 and a third in a row in 1998, the Bulls' second Three-peat of the decade and their sixth NBA championship trophy. The 2003-2004 season was a disappointing one as Tyson Chandler was out of action due to a back injury and he missed more than thirty games. Scottie Pippen's ability to influence games was impaired by knee problems following which he took retirement. Jamal Crawford showed increased confidence, but remains inconsistent. After struggling throughout the season, the Bulls finished with 23 wins and 59 losses, the second-worst record in the league. The uniform colors of the team are red, black, and white and the logo shows a red bull's head. The home stadium of the team is United Center. The stadium has a seating capacity of 20, 500.
 

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http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCJ/is_3_30/ai_95844093

• Tom Boerwinkle holds Chicago's all-time single-game rebounding mark with 37 vs. the Phoenix Suns on January 8, 1970





http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/nba/chicago/bulls.html


1972/73: Despite missing Tom Boerwinkle for most of the season with a knee injury the Bulls finish in 2nd place again with a solid 51-31 record. The Bulls appeared to be in line for an upset as they led the Los Angeles Lakers late in Game 7. However, the Lakers would rally outscoring the Bulls 12-2 in the final minute to win 95-92.

http://collegeresearchonline.com/EducationalForum/77 Educational Forum NBA Part 2.htm

Diane Sullivan: Welcome to the Massachusetts School of Law Educational Forum. Thank you for joining me. This program is brought to you by the Massachusetts School of Law. Today we're at the RDV Sportsplex in Orlando Florida. The topic for today's show is the NBA, how has it changed over the years? Which RO was better? And Michael Jordan, how has he impacted the game? I'm Diane Sullivan, your host for today's show. Joining me now is one of the most influential people in NBA history, Pat Williams, the Senior Vice President of the Orlando Magic. Previously he was the General Manager of the Philadelphia 76ers; including the season that they were the NBA champs. Prior to that he was the General Manger for the Atlanta Hawks and the Chicago Bulls. Tell me all the eras that you've been a part of, what have been your favorite teams and your favorite times?
Pat Williams: Oh, one of my favorite teams was the team in Chicago that I helped put together with Dick Motta; '69 to '73, oh that was a very, very favorite team. And how could it not be, Chet Walker, Bob Love, Tom Boerwinkle, the great passing center. The toughest, most hard-nosed back court, Jerry Sloan and Norm Van Leer, Norm Van Leer, who Bob Cousy coached for a while in Cincinnati, oh that was a wonderful team. And the City of Chicago really fell in love with them because they were Chicago, black and blue. You know, you would have loved that team, Diane.
Diane Sullivan: Yeah.
Pat Williams: All over the floor, floor burns, match-ups with Milwaukee. You'd see Jerry Sloan toe to toe with Oscar Robertson in the old Chicago Stadium on a freezing cold January night. Oh! That would have warmed the cockles of your heart

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/boerwto01.html

Hall of Fame Probability: .000 (589)

Overall rank among players with a minimum of 400 NBA games played is listed in parentheses.


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