Schintzius Falls to 24th in Draft


Schintzius Falls to 24th in Draft

June 28, 1990

 Former University of Florida star Dwayne Schintzius, at one time considered the most promising big man in the 1990 NBA draft, had to wait almost until the end of the first round Wednesday night before he was chosen.

   Even then, the news wasn't all good. The Brandon High School graduate was taken with the 24th pick in the draft by the San Antonio Spurs, who already have one of the best centers in the league in David Robinson. And Robinson is only 24 years old.

   Seconds before commissioner David Stern announced the 11th pick, the television cameras panned to Schintzius' face in the audience. The fans at the Javits Center booed him.

   Even in New York City, the 7-foot-1 Schintzius' problems have been dredged up in the tabloids in a most unflattering light.

   Still, Schintzius laughed. He stopped laughing when Stern announced that the Golden State Warriors had selected Tyrone Hill of Xavier as the 11th pick.

   The Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers Z Sacramento Kings, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings again, Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, New Jersey Nets and Sacramento Kings once again passed on Schintzius before San Antonio took him.

   By then, two centers had already been drafted ahead of Schintzius and Jacksonville University's Dee Brown had claimed the honer of the state's first drafted player.

   "That was the longest wait of my life," Schintzius said in a television interview on cable network TNT just after he was picked. "I'm glad it's over. I'm finally a member of the NBA and I'm looking forward to going down there and begin working. It's about time."

   Schintzius was projected as a cinch lottery pick before his disastrous senior season at UF, when he was suspended by interim coach Don DeVoe and finally quit the team.

   Schintzius and teammate Tim Turner were suspended Jan. 5 for their role in a fight at an off-campus fraternity. DeVoe said later that Schintzius would have to cut his hair and lose weight to rejoin the team, and Schintzius quit.

   A prepared statement issued by Schintzius when he left the team took a poke at DeVoe, saying he chose not to "sail under the authority of Captain Ahab."

   "I think I'm a good person," Schintzius said Wednesday. "When I get to San Antonio, my basketball abilities will take care of themselves."

   He was candid about his role in San Antonio.

   "I can give David Robinson a body to smash up against and hopefully I'll improve my skills alongside of him," he said. "He's the best big player in the league in my opinion."

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