R.I.P. to NBA Legend & Jazz Musician Wayman Tisdale

Former NBA player Tisdale dies at 44

Mercury News Wire Services
Posted: 05/15/2009 08:32:00 PM PDT
Updated: 05/15/2009 09:46:33 PM PDT

Wayman Tisdale was a three-time All-American at Oklahoma in the mid-1980s before playing a dozen years in the NBA and later becoming an accomplished jazz musician. But those who knew Tisdale, who died Friday at a hospital in his hometown of Tulsa, Okla., recalled not only his professional gifts but a perpetually sunny outlook, even in the face of a two-year battle with cancer that took his life at 44.

"I don't know of any athlete at Oklahoma or any place else who was more loved by the fans who knew him than Wayman Tisdale," said Billy Tubbs, who coached Tisdale with the Sooners. "He was obviously, a great, great player, but Wayman as a person overshadowed that. He just lit up a room and was so positive."

After three years at Oklahoma, Tisdale played in the NBA with Indiana, Sacramento and Phoenix. The 6-foot-9 forward, with a soft left-handed touch on the court, averaged 15.3 points for his career. He was on the U.S. team that won the gold medal in the 1984 Olympics.

Tisdale learned he had cancerous cyst below his right knee after breaking his leg in a fall at his home in Los Angeles on Feb. 8, 2007. He said then he was fortunate to have discovered the cancer early.

"Nothing can change me," Tisdale told the Associated Press last June. "You go through things. You don't change because things come in your life. You get better because things come in your life."

As a musician, Tisdale recorded eight albums. A bass guitarist who often wrote his own material, his most recent album, "Rebound," was inspired by his fight with cancer and included guest appearances by several artists, including saxophonist Dave Koz and country star and fellow Oklahoma native Toby Keith.


The BlackRadioIsBack.com and the FuseBox Radio Broadcast family extends our Condolences & Prayers to all of Mr. Tisdale's family, friends and fans.

Bonus Video: Wayman Tisdale Talks About His life - Part 3 - Basketball Diaries

Bonus Music Video #1: Wayman Tisdale - Let's Do It Again (Live)

Bonus Music Video #2: Wayman Tisdale "Way Up" EPK