Wayman Lawrence Tisdale (June 9, 1964 – May 15, 2009) was an American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA)….and a smooth jazz bass guitarist….who recorded eight jazz albums. A three-time All American at the University of Oklahoma….he was elected to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
Tisdale graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he grew up….who as a college player at the University of Oklahoma from 1982 to 1985….was a three-time Big Eight Conference Player of the Year….and the first player in collegiate history to be named a first-team All American by the Associated Press in his freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons….where he still holds the record at Oklahoma for the most points scored by any player through his freshman and sophomore seasons…as today, the outstanding freshman award in the NCAA is named the Wayman Tisdale Award. He won a gold medal as a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team….which was coached by Indiana University’s Bobby Knight.
The Indiana Pacers made Tisdale the second overall pick in the 1985 NBA draft….and as a power forward, Tisdale averaged over 15 points and six rebounds per game in a 12-season professional career with the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and Phoenix Suns. His best season was in 1989–90 with the Kings….when he averaged 22.3 points and 7.5 rebounds a game….when Tisdale and Mitch “The Rock” Richmond combined to form one of the most dynamic duos in the NBA.
Waymon Tisdale retired from the NBA after 12 seasons to concentrate on his music career….which he launched with his first album Power Forward in 1995 on the Motown Label. Primarily a bass player, he recorded eight albums….with the 2001 release Face to Face climbing to No. 1 on Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart. He was awarded the Legacy Tribute Award by the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2002. In an ESPN internet chat….Tisdale said his musical influences included the funk bands of the 1970’s. His most recent release….and his final album before his death…. Rebound, was written and released after he was diagnosed with cancer.