10 years in the NBA for this 10th Region Player
This player from the Tenth Region had a great NBA career for 10 years and he was the overall #4 pick in the NBA draft his senior season. Was he from the Tenth Region perennial powers, George Rogers Clark, Harrison County, Mason County or Paris or Bourbon County? This 10-year NBA vet came from MMI in Millersburg and his name was Tom Boerwinkle.
Tom was originally from northern Ohio but at his parents urging he enrolled at MMI and had a mediocre high school career for the Cadets but being a Seven-footer and Tom had some skills around the basket a few college coaches were interested. One was Ray Mears of the University of Tennessee, and the Coach with the Orange Blazer was right on in his assessment of the MMI Cadet. Tom left Millersburg and headed to Knoxville in 1964.
Big Tom averaged 11.4 points and 9.2 rebounds at Tennessee, helping the Vols win the 1967 Southeastern Conference title. As a senior in 1967-68, he averaged 15.2 points and 11.3 rebounds. His stellar career in the SEC along with his Seven-foot frame caught the eyes of the NBA scouts.
The former 10th Regional player 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, Boerwinkle 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
Boerwinkle later served as a radio color analyst for the Bulls.
The former MMI Cadet, Tom Boerwinkle died on March 26, 2013 in Willow brook, Illinois after struggling with myelodysplastic syndrome, a form of leukemia.