National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day – May 15 – Wayman Tisdale

0 Comments 15 May 2012


A heartbreaking yet inspiring story for today’s DPD.

Wayman Tisdale –  A true renaissance man that makes a strong case for being soul brother #1 1980-1994.

As a child growing up in Tulsa Tisdale wasn’t really interested in sports like his brothers were. After receiving a Mickey Mouse guitar for a birthday he began teaching himself the craft. To his dying day he never took a formal lesson. But during his junior year of high school Tisdale sprouted a miraculous 24 two feet and – shockingly – became much more interested in basketball. And to no one’s surprise he was a phenom.

More than 150 colleges tried to recruit him. The New York Times reported the next year that he had chosen the Oklahoma Sooners after Oklahoma recruited his considerably less talented older brother to play and his high school coach to be an assistant coach. Gotta love the NCAA!

While at OU he became the first freshman to become a first-team all-American since freshmen were once again allowed to play, in the 1971-72 season. He became one of 10 three-time all-Americans in Division I basketball….ever. In the 1985 N.B.A. draft, Tisdale was chosen second over all after Patrick Ewing. Not bad.

He went on to have a very respectable 12 year career in the NBA.

Throughout his collegiate and professional life he made sure to keep an eye on his other talent – music, and in particular the bass.

In 1995, two years before he retired from basketball, he put out his first album, “Power Forward,” which made it to No. 4 on Billboard’s contemporary jazz charts. Miles Ahead said that it was the first of his 12 albums.

Then tragedy struck. But I’ll let the obit take it from here…

Wayman Tisdale dies at 44

Associated PressMay 16, 2009

Wayman Tisdale, a three-time All-American at Oklahoma who played 12 seasons in the NBA and later became a leading contemporary jazz musician, died Friday. He was 44.

Tisdale died at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa after a two-year battle with cancer, hospital spokeswoman Joy McGill said.

After three years at Oklahoma, Tisdale played in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns. The 6-foot, 9-inch forward, with a soft left-handed shooting touch on the court and a wide smile off it, averaged 15.3 points for his career. He was on the U.S. team that won the gold medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Continue

- who has written 512 posts on The Shade.

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