BRANDON, Fla. - There was laughter and tears during a public memorial service for Dwayne Schintzius Saturday morning at Stowers Funeral Home in Brandon. Schintzius died on Sunday at the age of 43 after a 3-year battle with a rare form of leukemia.
The 7'2" basketball player, who starred at Brandon High School, was a Gator at the University of Florida from 1986 to 1990. He became a first round pick by the San Antonio Spurs in 1990 and spent nine seasons in the NBA.
Frank Martin fought back tears while telling the crowd at Dwayne's funeral that his relationship with him wasn't the norm, because Dwayne, he says, wasn't the norm.
Martin said, "Behind this big giant was, like, a really deep and thoughtful human being who loved his family."
Martin was Dwayne's agent, but also his friend. He added, "And that's so unusual in this world, and it's even more unusual in the world of professional athletics, when most of it is a 'me, me, take, take' world."
But friends say Dwayne's legacy is not just what he did to earn a living, but the lasting impression he made on those who knew and loved him.
His best friend from high school, Robert Enmon, explained, "If Dwayne was here, he would want everybody to live their life to the fullest and every day be happy, because life is way too short to not be happy in life."
As heartbreaking as the funeral was, there was also a lot of laughter when Enmon's son spoke about his experiences with Dwayne. Robby Dwayne Enmon told the crowd, "He'd be over at our house and I remember when we got the Verizon package and we'd be asleep and he'd be still flipping through the channels."
Robby added, "Dwayne would be like, 'I'll wrestle you for your medals.' So he'd take me down and pin me and take one of my medals, put them on, and run around the house with it."
Robby's father said, "That's the one thing Dwayne did. He loved life and he enjoyed it. God bless him and we'll see him again."
Dwayne wrote a fitness book and played the part of a Russian basketball player in the movie Eddie starring Whoopi Goldberg.
He leaves behind his mother and father, Linda and Ken, and his brother, Travis.