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By Hayden Tucker

 

If you ask anyone about Trendon Tisdale, you’re bound to hear one describing phrase: glue guy.

The Jenks guard has undoubtedly been one of several key pieces in the team’s 16-2 season even though his numbers won’t “wow” anyone. Tisdale averages 8.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.

Though his numbers may not jump out to many, it’s not about that for Tisdale. For him, it’s all about winning.

He’s an efficient scorer, when he does shoot. He’s shooting 38% on his three-point attempts and a team-high 82% from the free throw line.

He has confidence in his playing ability, but he knows where he belongs on the court.

“My role is to get others involved,” Tisdale said. “I can score when I need to but if I don’t have to, I like to get other people going.”

As the Trojans’ primary ball handler, Tisdale is charged with leading the number three team in the state down the court. His averages of nearly four assists per game is coupled with a low 1.6 turnovers per contest.

Tisdale’s ability to see the floor and do the little things is one of Jenks’ greatest assets.

“That’s one of the biggest attributes I think he has is, he has such a great court presence and great court IQ,” coach Clay Martin said. “All those things he does doesn’t get written about, doesn’t get highlighted on videos but it’s the extra pass, the charge, the lift fake and getting to the foul line.”

 

Trendon Tisdale lines up a three point shot in a game earlier in the season against Union. Tisdale is shooting 38% on three pointers this season.
Photo/Hayden Tucker

 

It hasn’t been easy to get where he is now, however.

Throughout the early days of his high school career Tisdale dealt with injuries and playing behind upper classmen. When he couldn’t play, he used that time to his advantage.

Coach Martin said he was impressed that a young player knew to keep a positive mindset during trying times.

“When you’re waiting you can either sit and pout, you can be disgruntled, or you can learn and learn from others’ mistakes,” he said. “When you have the luxury of learning from somebody else’s mistakes you’re more likely not to make them.”

The injury sustained during his sophomore season was one of the more difficult times in his playing career. He couldn’t wait to step back out on the court.

“It was boring,” Tisdale said. “I didn’t know what to do.”

His natural feel and curiosity for the game is no surprise, with a name such as his.

In Oklahoma basketball at any level the name ‘Tisdale’ brings to mind one of the state’s greatest athletes on the hardwood. Wayman Tisdale, the former Booker T. Washington and University of Oklahoma standout, is actually Trendon’s great uncle.

Trendon’s father, Rodney, won a state championship at Tulsa Central and had a place on the Jenks bench as an assistant coach in the prior three seasons.

Basketball runs in the blood of Trendon Tisdale and it’s easy to see when he steps out on the court.

He doesn’t shoot many shots, but the ones he takes, he makes and often they’re in high-pressure situations.

“What I’ve been so impressed with is, his touches have been so efficient,” Martin said. “He’s not a volume guy, he’s not going to need 20 shots to get eight or nine points. He is shooting the ball really well and a lot of his shots have big implications.

“I go back to the Tahlequah tournament; he made a couple threes to separate against Bixby which got the run going. He has made big threes in every game we’ve played since Christmas.”

Jenks is currently enjoying one of its best seasons in program history. The Trojans’ 15 game win streak ended Friday with a loss to Booker T. Washington, who handed them their only other loss of the year. Through the 16 wins and even the two losses, Jenks has displayed a cool, steady hand when times got tough and Tisdale has a lot to do with that.

There are a lot of senior leaders in the locker room this season, but Tisdale makes it a point in being one to stay calm when the pressure is high.

“We’ve come a long way in that department, dealing with adversity,” senior Ike Houston said. “Trendon and me and a lot of other guys, when something doesn’t go our way or if something goes our way, we try and keep a level head and stay calm. He usually huddles everybody up and we talk to each other, encourage each other.”

There is no one true ‘star’ on the team this year. Everybody works together for one common goal, winning. Nobody embodies the Jenks culture better than Tisdale has throughout the highs and lows of his playing days.

“It’s fun because, a school our size, not everybody plays as a young kid,” Martin said. “Not everybody plays as a sophomore. Here’s a kid that’s come through the system and waited and earned and fought to get better and clawed and here he is making the most of it.”