David J. Twardzik became Old Dominion University's initial first team All-American basketball player after leading the Monarchs to the runner-up honors in the 1971 NCAA Division II national championships.
Twardzik inspired his teammates to 56 victories in three years before going on to spark the Portland Trailblazers to the 1976-77 National Basketball Association championship. In between, the 6-1 guard proved himself in professional basketball with the American basketball Association's Virginia Squires.
The former Monarch captain, whose number 14 was retired in 1972, passes out 880 assists for a career record and scored 1,660 points while triggering the Monarchs fast break attack. He also established career records by making 548 free throws out of 686 attempted.
One season record he set were 332 assists in 1970-71, a free throw percentage record of 84.5 and 222 free throws made. Standout single-game performances included 20 assists against Mount St. Mary's College, and making 24 of 26 free throws in a 102-97 win over cross-town rival Norfolk State.
His outstanding passing, aggressive floor play and pressure shooting earned him berths on ASSOCIATED PRESS, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, BASKETBALL NEWS and National Association of Basketball Coaches All-America teams after the 1971-72 season.
Twardzik first made the All-America ranks on the NABC third team in 1970-71 season. Other honors included being picked as All-Virginia for three years and being named as captain of that squad as a senior.
"Dave's accomplishments and individual statistics are very obvious but his greatest assets were his leadership and unselfish team play," said Sonny Allen, his ODU coach. "He brought out the best in his teammates."
Twardzik, who was recruited by Old Dominion after leading his Middletown Pa., team to a 29-1 record and the Class B state championship, said the 1971 NCAA finish was his most satisfying memory in Old Dominion blue and white. "That and the NBA championship stand out."
Twardzik has also been inducted into the ODU Sports Hall of Fame and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. He will be inducted into the Hampton Roads Hall of Fame on Oct. 30th, 2012 at the Norfolk Scope Arena.