PORTLAND, Ore. (October 10, 2023) – The Portland Trail Blazers organization is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former player Terry Dischinger. Dischinger, a forward in the NBA for nine years, spent his final NBA season with the Trail Blazers in 1972-73. Those who knew Terry knew a gentle giant who always gave to others and loved life.
Dischinger attended Purdue University where he was named a consensus first-team All-American during his junior and senior seasons, while earning a BS in chemical engineering. While attending Purdue, Dischinger joined the U.S. National Team and helped the team earn Gold Medal honors at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. The 1960 U.S. team was collectively inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. Dischinger was also inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019 for his standout career at Purdue.
He was drafted by the Chicago Zephyrs (now the Washington Wizards) in the 1962 NBA Draft with the 10th overall selection. His impact was immediately felt, as he earned Rookie of the Year in 1963 after averaging 25.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 3.1 assists. He was named an All-Star in each of his first three seasons, before taking the 1965-66 and 1966-67 seasons off to enlist and serve in the U.S. Army. He returned to the NBA in 1967 and played the next five seasons in Detroit before closing out his career in Rip City. He averaged 6.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists in his lone season in Portland.
After his playing career, Dischinger found an even more successful second career – orthodontics. He earned his DDS from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry before returning to Portland where he received his orthodontic training at Oregon Health and Science University’s School of Dentistry. He went on to practice orthodontics for more than 30 years in Lake Oswego. He was considered one of the most influential orthodontists in the last 40 years, holding numerous patents and traveling the world to teach and influence the next generation of orthodontists.
Terry was a fixture in the Portland community, representing the Trail Blazers at numerous events, and always offering a helping hand to those in need. Outside of work, golf, traveling and his family were his true passions.
He was preceded in death by his son Terry. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Mary, alongside his sisters Nancy and Tommy, children Kelly, Kelly’s husband Jack Loomis, Bill and Bill’s wife Kari Lynn, daughter-in-law Emily and Emily’s husband Mike Karpeles, and grandchildren Michael, Alex, Sarah, Sarah’s husband Chris, David, David’s wife Maria, Anna, Taylor, Turner, Trey and Tristan.