Dolph Schayes

NBA Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes passed away on Thursday (Dec. 10). He was 87.

He was diagnosed with terminal cancer six months ago and died this week.

The 12-time All-Star was among the first star big men in the league’s history. He was the franchise player for the Syracuse Nationals from 1948-1963 and was voted one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.

ESPN writes that he “revolutionized the post position, always in perpetual motion instead of just planting himself in the paint.”

“Dolph Schayes was one of the most influential figures in NBA history,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday in a statement. “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.”