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Wayman Tisdale Dead at 44: NBA Star & Jazz Man 1964-2009

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wayman tisdale 1964 2009 age 44

Wayman Tisdale


Wayman Tisdale, former NBA star and noted smooth jazz bass guitarist, died at age 44 on Friday, May 15, 2009 at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma after a two year battle with cancer.

He played college ball for Oklahoma from 1983-1985, during which time he was a three time All American.  The 6'9" forward was a member of the 1985 US Olympic Basketball Team and won a gold medal.

Tisdale was drafted by the Indiana Pacers in 1985 and later played for the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns.  His NBA career ended with his retirement in 1997 so that he could pursue his other love - music.

His debut CD Power Forward was well received in 1995.  In 2002 he received the Legacy Tribute Award by the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.

The athlete and musician was diagnosed with cancer of the knee in 2007, after breaking his leg.   He underwent several rounds of aggressive chemotherapy treatment.   In August 2008,  doctors performed a partial leg amputation and fitted Tisdale with a prosthetic device to aid his mobility.

Tisdale accepted his last award in April 2009 from the Greenwood Cultural Center.  During his acceptance speech he said, "Music is the gift I leave behind.  Basketball was my first love, but music will be here forever."

Upon learning of Wayman's passing, his former Oklahoma college coach, Billy Tubs said,  "He just lit up a room and was so positive.  He was a great human being.  I'll miss everything about him."

Tisdale, also a member of the Oklahoma Tourism board, is survived by his wife Regina Tisdale and their four children.

Check out more photos and the video reporting his death below.  The second video features Wayman and his band performing Lets Do It Again.

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Yes. He is a "Christian" as he still lives. But during his life here, he was more than a labeled "Christian", his spirit and countenance consistently evidenced that following Christ and the Fruits of the Spirit were not just conceptual, but quite conceivable, believable, achievable, and the new creation in Christ NOW has his legacy of Christ in Wayman lived through his joyful, unaffected manner in which he was not attached to money, his leg, his very life. It is not only how a man lives his life, but how he surrenders it. Surrender isn't discussed in America; too prideful and attached to what will rot, ruin, rust, and wear out. Christ's teachings always brought the focus back on His glorifying His Father for whom the Father was and is well pleased. It is impossible to please God without faith. So faith without works is dead along with the length, toil, severity, sacrifice, and motivation in so "working" for God, not with Him. Bottom line: Tisdale surrendered all, his very life, before he could by God's grace truly commit without reservation. We appear to commit too much, unlike Tisdale, but skip the surrendering or abandonments of all we’re painfully aware we can never and were never intended to keep. “It is more blessed to give than receive.” Christ spoke this to Paul who had once in time past, persecuted Christians and was present and pounding his fists in agreement while the disciple Steven was stoned to death.
But something changed and it wasn’t a long drawn out process as we call it in America. Some would argue that Paul was handpicked in in spite of his egregious and evil ways before in an instant, his devotion was fully for the object of his affection. The surrender was a serve case as described in Acts of the Bible.
What does it take to make someone happy? A question a client of mine had as the boy was only 15 years old. The only question he ever asked me and he rarely said much to anyone. I had a pat wrong answer because the pride in having to have an answer without first going to the source of He who can and will provide it, even evidence it in the most horrid manner in which He died.
Surrender. Waving the white flag sooner than later and that’s what Wayman waved from early on. He got the key and the Son’s freedom by playing to win or bless another’s ears, but he wasn’t attached to the gifts, rather the Giver. He knew the source of his affection and that people would say, “We lost a great man today!” Yet, how can one lose that which is common knowledge as to where he can now be found. “Absent from the body; present with the Lord.”
“Any man who tries to save his life will lose it, but any man willing to lose his life or my Name Sake will find it.”
Something must die before it can bloom and nature even makes this clear. Time to surrender.
Thanks for provoking me to write and allow the answer to come tonight in such a way it has never been elucidated and grasp in such a true and clarity fashioned manner. Love and peace brother,
Brian Jett and Team Hangtough
You are part of it man. iLike it or not!