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Obituary: Schyman Jr, William

William Schyman Jr.

William Schyman Jr., 92, passed away on Sunday July 3, 2022, at home in Stroudsburg, PA. He was born on February 14, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois as the only son of William and Mabel Schyman. Despite being hard-of-hearing since birth, Bill attended hearing schools growing up and was an avid basketball player among the public courts on the north side of Chicago. He graduated from Lane Tech High School and went on to play his collegiate career at DePaul University under legendary coach Ray Meyers. Bill was a key member of the DePaul roster and was inducted into the DePaul University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. Upon graduation in 1953 Bill was the first deaf person to be drafted into the NBA, being selected by the Baltimore Bullets. He continued his career with the Boston Whirlwinds and Washington Generals, traveling the country playing against the Globetrotters for 3 years. When he retired from his professional career, he returned to Chicago to play for the Chicago Club of the Deaf basketball team for a few more years. In 1965 he led the Deaf Olympic team to a gold medal in the games in Washington DC. After retiring from playing, Bill moved into a new role as a coach. He spent multiple years as the head basketball coach at Gallaudet University and returned to the Deaf Olympic games in Germany in 1981 to claim a second gold medal. Bill was eventually inducted into the USA Deaf Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978.

During his time playing for the Chicago Club of the Deaf Bill met and married his wife Helen, the love of his life. They are now survived by their 3 children Albert, Arlene, and Deborah. Together they lived in Beltsville, MD while Bill worked as a PE teacher in Prince George’s County Public Schools. In 1965 Bill purchased 44 acres in the Pocono Mountains of PA where he established Pine Lake Camp, a summer camp for various sports and activities that ran for 25 years. He lived out the rest of his years in the Poconos, where he owned and operated Pine Lake Steel Homes.

Bill had a personality that filled the room. He was an avid reader and enjoyed spending time surrounded by his family overlooking his beloved Pine Lake with a cigar in his hand.

There will be a private gathering of family on Friday, July 8, 2022. Details on a formal service will be released at a later date.

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