By Fred L. Jones, Jr.
Eagle Staff Writer
The second annual Wayman Tisdale Day is Saturday, June 9th at the Agora Events Center located at 1402 S. Peoria event starts at 8 pm. Tisdale graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Okla., where he grew up. As a college player at the University of Oklahoma from 1982 to 1985, he 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.
Tisdale still holds the record at Oklahoma for the most points scored by any player through his freshman and sophomore seasons. He won a gold medal as a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team coached by Indiana University‘s Bobby Knight. The Indiana Pacers made Tisdale the second overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft.
As a center and 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. Tisdale and Mitch “The Rock” Richmond combined to form one of the most dynamic duos in the NBA. Tisdale retired in 1997 to focus on his musical career.
Tisdale became the first player in any sport to have his jersey number (23) retired by the University of Oklahoma in 1997. When Blake Griffin was granted permission to wear it during his career at OU (2007–2009), he sought and received Tisdale’s blessing before accepting it.
The outstanding freshman award in the NCAA is named the Wayman Tisdale Award.
Tisdale launched his music career with “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 1970s.
The Wayman Tisdale Day event will include an upscale comfort food buffet, live music covering some of Wayman’s most popular tunes and an opportunity party for a great cause as a portion of each ticket sale goes to The Wayman L. Tisdale Foundation. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite for $25.00 or general admission at the door is $30.00.