Former Sooners Legend, NBA Player Tisdale Dies

Former Oklahoma Sooner and NBA player Wayman Tisdale died on Friday morning after a two-year battle with cancer. Tisdale was 44.

In April, the Thunder honored Tisdale, a Tulsa native, with the Thunder Community Hero Award, presented by Devon Energy, during its April 7 game against the San Antonio Spurs. The award recognized Tisdale’s contributions to basketball in Oklahoma and for his courage and spirit battling cancer and assisting others facing the same challenge.

Tisdale was diagnosed with cancer in his knee in 2007, and the following year his right leg was amputated below the knee. He eventually wore a prosthetic leg.

Tisdale played at Booker T. Washington High in Tulsa before starring at the University of Oklahoma, where he became a three-time All-American and later a member of the gold-medal winning 1984 U.S. Olympic team.

Tisdale played 12 seasons in the NBA with Indiana, Sacramento and Phoenix. He scored more than 12,500 points and grabbed more than 5,000 rebounds throughout his pro career. Tisdale retired in 1997 to pursue what he called his “first love” as a jazz bassist; he went onto release eight popular jazz CDs.

Recently, the NBA honored Tisdale with a special Courage Award during an NBA Legends event at last February’s NBA All-Star Weekend in Phoenix. Tisdale also started a foundation to assist other amputees who have no health insurance or whose insurance won’t fund medical needs.

Tisdale is survived by his wife, Regina, and four children.


I'll update this page periodically with links to all-things Wayman Tisdale. You can also visit for updated coverage on Tisdale throughout the day.

First up: an Apr. 8 story in the Oklahoman on NBA players who were inspired by Tisdale.