Terry Dischinger, a well-known figure in basketball sports and dentistry, died on October 10, 2023, leaving behind a legacy which influenced many aspects of his life. Terry Dischinger was a well-known personality in both professional basketball and dentistry.
Fans, patients, and colleagues will remember his contributions to the NBA and the dentistry profession, and he will be missed. His life is an encouragement to others who want to thrive in numerous fields, and he will be recognized for his extraordinary journey as a basketball player and orthodontist.
Keep reading to know more about Terry Dischinger and his cause of death in detail.
Terry Dischinger passed away: Cause of death revealed
Terry Dischinger, a former NBA basketball player who later became an orthodontist, died peacefully in his sleep on October 10, 2023.
During his final moments, he was accompanied by loved ones, including his sister Kelly and mother, while a hospice nurse offered prayers. Terry had been battling Alzheimer’s illness for several years, and the last few months had been extremely difficult for him.
Dr. Bill Dischinger, his son, shared the tragic news on the ‘The Dischinger Team Orthodontics’ Facebook page. Dr. Bill conveyed both regret and relief in his message, admitting that while today is a sad day, it is also a day to celebrate Terry’s release from suffering. He mentioned that Terry is now in a better place, in paradise, with his son Terry and his parents.
Today my father Terry (Dr. Terry) passed away while sleeping. His hands were being held by my sister Kelly and my mother while the hospice nurse was praying. A perfect ending for him.He had battled against Alzheimer’s the last few years and the last few months in particular were very rough.
Although today is a sad day, it’s also a day of celebration that he is no longer suffering and he is in heaven with my brother Terry and my grandparents (and so many others).I’m sure he has already played a round of golf, had some amazing barbecue and made somebody’s smile even better.
He touched so many people’s lives all over the world in so many ways. I was proud to call him dad and be his son. What a fortunate boy I was to have such an amazing man raise me, teach me and eventually be my partner in our orthodontic practice.
Terry Dischinger’s life was defined by his extraordinary achievements on the basketball court and in dentistry. His memory will live on through his family, friends, and the many others he impacted along the way.
Who was Terry Dischinger?
Terry Gilbert Dischinger is a former National Basketball Association (NBA) player from the United States. After averaging 28 points per game in his three seasons at Purdue University, Dischinger was a three-time NBA All-Star and the 1963 NBA Rookie of the Year.
High School Career
Dischinger attended Terre Haute’s James A. Garfield High School. Dischinger, the football coach’s son, was a three-year letter winner in basketball and was awarded the Purple Eagles’ MVP twice. During his senior year (1957-58), he was named captain and MVP of the Indiana All-Star squad.
Dischinger was also a Parade Magazine All-American in 1958. Dischinger achieved all-state honors in basketball while coaching by Willard Kehrt, and in football and track while coaching by his father, Donas Dischinger, during his high school career.
He was a member of Terre Haute’s 1955 Babe Ruth League world championship baseball team as a high school freshman. He was also a member of Garfield High’s 1955 IHSAA Sectional Championship squad, which was Garfield’s deepest run during his high school career. During Dischinger’s career, his biggest opponent was Terre Haute Gerstmeyer Tech, a city rival.
Dischinger attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where he played in the Big Ten Conference under Coach Ray Eddy. The 6’7″, 190 lb guard/forward was awarded a Second Team All-American in his first varsity season as a sophomore (freshmen were not allowed to play varsity by the NCAA in his period), leading the 11-12 Boilermakers with 26.3 points and 14.3 rebounds.
Dischinger had 26 rebounds against Wisconsin on January 9, 1960, the second most in a game behind Carl McNulty’s school record of 27 in 1951. After his sophomore year, Dishinger was named to the 1960 Olympic Team. Dischinger’s final year saw Purdue finish 17-7. Dischinger scored 30 points despite having a sprained ankle in his final college game against Michigan on March 12, 1962.
Dischinger held nearly every Purdue scoring record when he left. In his three varsity seasons, Dischinger averaged 28.3 points per game and topped the league in scoring each year. With 1,979 points, he is presently the sixth-highest scorer in Boilermaker history. In 70 career games at Purdue, Dischinger averaged a double-double of 28.3 points and 13.7 rebounds while shooting 55.3% from the field and 81.9% from the line.
Dischinger was the youngest member of the USA men’s basketball team that won the gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics under head coach Pete Newell, at the age of 19, and just ending his sophomore year of college. As a starter, he shared the court with future Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, and Jerry Lucas. In 2010, the team was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. He started all eight games, scoring 90 points and averaging 11.3 points per game as the team’s fourth-leading scorer.
The Chicago Zephyrs selected Dischinger first in the second round (#8 overall) in the 1962 NBA draft. Dischinger made an early impact in the NBA, winning Rookie of the Year in 1962-63 after averaging 25.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in 57 games. Coached by Jack McMahon (12-26) and Slick Leonard (13-29), the Zephyrs ended 25-55.
Dieschiger was traded to the Detroit Pistons during his third NBA season. On June 18, 1964, the Bullets transferred Dischinger, along with Don Kojis and Rod Thorn, to the Pistons in exchange for Bob Ferry, Bailey Howell, Les Hunter, Wali Jones, and Don Ohl. He averaged 18.2 points per game with the Pistons and was named an NBA All-Star for the third time in a row.
Dischinger left the NBA after his third NBA season to serve in the military. He served in the United States Army for the next two years. He continued to play basketball there, was named to the all-Rainbow Classic team (1965), led the Rainbow Classic in scoring (91 points, 30.3 points per game), was named MVP for the Army all-Pacific team, served as a coach for the all-Army basketball team, and coached a State Department team on a tour of Central America in 1966.
He returned to the NBA in 1967, and played with the Pistons for the next five seasons. At the age of 31, he coached in two games as a player-coach during the 1971-72 season. Dischinger averaged 12.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 452 games for the Pistons over six seasons, playing alongside Hall of Famers Bob Lanier, Dave Bing, and Walt Bellamy.
The Pistons traded Dischinger to the Portland Trail Blazers for Fred Foster on July 31, 1972. During the 1972-73 season, he averaged 6.1 points and 3.0 rebounds in 15 minutes per game for the 21-61 Blazers under Coach Jack McCloskey.
After one season in Portland, he retired from the NBA after nine seasons. Dischinger averaged 13.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and a.506 field goal percentage in 652 games throughout his NBA career.
After retiring from basketball in 1973, Dischinger attended dental school in Memphis, Tennessee. He returned to Portland, where he had completed his NBA career, with his wife Mary, to open an orthodontic clinic in the Portland suburb of Lake Oswego. Dr. Terry Dischinger earned a BS in chemical engineering from Purdue University. He received his DDS from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in Nashville, where he received the valedictorian of his class.
Tributes to Terry Dischinger
Many people expressed their profound sympathies to his family and expressed how much they loved him.
Andres Perdomo Orthodontist wrote: “Today, a giant in orthodontics passed away, Dr. Terry Dischinger… His vision of orthodontics, his Class II treatments, and his propulsors were one of the major influences in my life as an orthodontist. The orthodontic world is going to miss you. Rest in peace, dear Terry.”
Kristi Dale wrote: “What Would Jesus Do? This phrase always brings Terry to my mind. Terry was a gifted teacher. He was loving, kind, compassionate and generous. He never passed judgement or had harsh words. Terry was not only one of the most favorite employers I ever had, he is also on my list of people I most respect and admire. Rest well, Good Sir. Love to Mary and the whole Dischinger family.”
Kelli Jean wrote: “And I’m sure he already ate his dessert first, too! Prayers and comfort to you all, he was a truly special and genuinely sweet man. “
Terry Dischinger Obituary
Terry Dischinger’s death has left the community in sadness, since his life had a deep impact on many people. His contributions to professional sports and dentistry have left an indelible mark on those who knew him and the greater community.
Terry Dischinger was a respected basketball player as well as a source of motivation for young athletes. Terry Dischinger’s legacy in dentistry extends to the patients he cared for and the colleagues he worked with. Terry’s death has grieved those who knew him personally, but it has also brought people together to reflect on his accomplishments and the principles he represented.
The community has come together to express condolences to his family and to celebrate the legacy he has left behind. In their shared sadness, they take solace in remembering a man who excelled in two different fields and will be greatly missed by anyone who had the good fortune to know him.
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