Tom Boerwinkle (Thomas Boerwinkle)

Tom Boerwinkle

Tom Boerwinkle played for the University of Tennessee and helped the team win the 1967 Southeastern Conference championship. The next year he was named a Helms Foundation first-team all-American. In his junior and senior season, he averaged a double-double each season—10.2 points and 12.2 rebounds his junior season and 11.3 points and 15.2 rebounds his senior season. Tom Boerwinkle was drafted as the fourth 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. In addition, he contributed with his passing skills, averaging 3.2 assists per game during his career. On January 8, 1970, Boerwinkle set a Bulls record by grabbing 37 rebounds against the Phoenix Suns. He retired with career totals of 4,596 points, 5,745 rebounds, and 2,007 assists. Boerwinkle also had five triple doubles in his career.

Tom Boerwinkle later served as a radio color analyst for the Bulls. He was a longtime co-owner of the Olympic Oil Co. in Stickney, Illinois. Tom Boerwinkle died on March 26, 2013 in Willowbrook, Illinois[disambiguation needed] after struggling with myelodysplastic syndromes, a form of leukemia. Upon his death, longtime Bulls teammate Bob Love said, “He was a great teammate with a heart of gold. And I always tell people: Half of my baskets came from him. He’s one of the best-passing big men of all-time.” Hall of Fame center and Bulls teammate Artis Gilmore said, “He understood his role extremely well,” Hall of Fame center Artis Gilmore said,” He had a very big body and he absorbed a lot of space. With those behind-the-back and over-the-head passes, he was very good. He understood the game and he played intelligent basketball.” He was survived by his wife of 41 years, Linda, son Jeff and daughter Gretchen.

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  • August, 23, 1945
  • USA
  • Cleveland, Ohio


  • March, 26, 2013
  • USA
  • Chicago, Illinois

Cause of Death

  • myelodysplastic syndromes


  • Cremated

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