Hall of Fame basketball player Dolph Schayes has passed away at the age of 87.

The former Syracuse National and 76er refined the big man's role in the NBA was diagnosed with terminal cancer six months ago and died on Thursday after a severe infection, his son, Danny, said.

Schayes spent decades with the Philadelphia 76ers franchise both as a player and a coach, he began his career in Syracuse with the Nationals in 1948. He then transitioned with the team to Philadelphia where he became a player/coach for one season before retiring as a player and taking over as head coach until 1966.

The 76ers released a statement on Thursday afternoon:

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dolph Schayes, a pioneer and iconic member of the Philadelphia 76ers organization and one of the greatest players ever to play the game of basketball," said Sixers Chief Executive Officer Scott O'Neil. "Dolph was an integral part of the foundation on which this franchise was built - first in Syracuse and later in Philadelphia. He will be fondly remembered for the legacy he not only created on the court, but the way he represented the game off the court. On behalf of our entire organization, we would like to express our deepest sympathies to the entire Schayes family during this very difficult time."

Schayes was also named one of the 50 greatest NBA players of all time when he was named to the 50th anniversary team in 1996.

Schayes is survived by his wife, four children and nine grandchildren. His son, Danny, was a former first round pick by the Utah Jazz and spent 18 years in the NBA.