Wayman Tisdale was a phenomenal basketball player. I'm sure he tortured the Aggies when he played for Oklahoma during a career that would land him in the College Basketball Hall of Fame. A gold medalist in the 1984 Olympics, he was also the leading scorer in Sacramento Kings' history, remains the Sooners' scoring leader, and was a beloved athlete respected by all his colleagues.
Then, he went on to an amazing jazz career...not the Utah Jazz, but jazz music...award-winning jazz music. Wayman's second album was the first CD I ever bought. I can remember wearing that disk out on the long bus rides to school in the dead of a North Dakota winter.It was a good way to start the days, and I've got a few more of his albums. As much as he had an eye and a body for basketball, he had an ear for good music.
Wayman Tisdale has died at the age of 44. As if playing basketball at the level he did with the attitude he did wasn't enough to awe, as if the music he created for so many to enjoy wasn't enough to entertain, Wayman inspired through his battle with a cancer that forced two rounds of chemo and cost him a leg that made the 6'9" man the hall of famer he was, but never cost him his spirit.
If a person is not inspired by a man who can smile in the face of a cancerous sentence that turned deadly, there is no hope for that person's soul. Anyone who saw, heard or met Wayman in any way, shape or form is better for it.