Devon Community Hero - Wayman Tisdale

Wayne Tisdale: April 7th, 2009

April’s Thunder Community Hero, presented by Devon Energy, was Oklahoma basketball legend Wayman Tisdale. Tisdale was diagnosed with cancer in his knee in 2007. The following year, his right leg was amputated below the knee. He wore a prosthetic leg and told ESPN last year that cancer “took my leg but won’t take my spirit or my smile.”

Tisdale starred at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, was a three time All-American at the University of Oklahoma, a member of the Gold-medal--winning 1984 U.S. Olympic team, and spent 12 years in the NBA. His power on the court and smile and personality off the court made him the face of Sooner Basketball during its resurgence in the eighties. In the NBA he scored nearly 13,000 points and grabbed more than 5,000 rebounds with the Pacers, Kings and Suns. Tisdale retired from the NBA in 1997 to pursue what he called his “first love,” his music career as a jazz bassist. He released eight popular jazz CD’s.

Tisdale was honored with a special Courage Award during an NBA Legends event at All-Star Weekend in Phoenix in February 2009. In addition to battling his own illness with spirit and courage, he started a foundation to assist other amputees who have no health insurance or whose insurance won’t fund medical needs.


Wayman Tisdale was a basketball legend for The University of Oklahoma.

Played on the 1984 Gold Medal Olympic Basketball Team.

Played in the NBA for 12 years. Mr. Wayman Tisdale passed away on May 15, 2009.