Former Gator Dwayne Schintzius dead at 43
Former Florida All-America center Dwayne Schintzius died Sunday at the age of 43. Schintzius died at 2:45 p.m. at Moffit Cancer Center, where he was being treated for complications from a failed bone marrow transplant, according to his father Ken Schintzius.
Schintzius first underwent treatment for leukemia in 2010, and later had a bone marrow transplant from his brother, Travis. He underwent a second one this past November, but had suffered from complications since.
"He’s been in and out of the hospital,'' Ken Schintzius said. "He spent a few weeks in and he would spend a few weeks out. Went back in 31 days ago. They put him in the intensive care unit there. He had a problem breathing. He had something similar to fibrosis. And he just couldn’t get oxygen. His system just kind of started shutting down early this morning.''
Schintzius played for the Gators from 1987-90, helping Florida to its first NCAA Tournament appearance. He is No. 5 on the Gators' all-time scoring list with 1,624 points.
"He is probably the least appreciated great player in school history,'' said Larry Vettel, a longtime Gator broadcaster.
Ken Schintzius said he and his son, Travis, will begin making funeral arrangements on Monday.
"He was my hero,'' he said. "He never complained. He never said, ‘why me?’ He just, you know, when they (doctors) asked him to do something, his answer was, you know, whatever it takes. That was his motto. He was a good son. He was a good person. Had a great sense of humor. You’d walk into a room and the whole room would just light up. I’m his dad. I’m probably tooting his horn. He was good to us. I’m going to miss him a lot. He was my friend, my buddy. He’s going to be missed, and I’m going to miss him. Terrible, terrible loss.''