View Full Version : Tisdale's biggest rebound comes after loss of leg to cancer

12-03-2008, 11:11 PM
As Wayman Tisdale tells it, there are a lot of loves behind his trademark smile.

There's his wife, Regina, whom he loved when he first saw her walk into church on April 17, 1981. They were high school juniors attending different schools in Tulsa, Okla., and she'd never heard of the basketball player who was a nationwide prep star. On their first date, he flashed that smile and made her laugh, igniting a romance that's continued through 27 years and four children.

There's basketball, which he didn't love until he learned to dunk in the eighth grade. He'd never liked it when his older brothers, Weldon and William, insisted on playing pickup games in the yard. Wayman usually quit before they finished, running over to the sandbox instead. But that dunk (of a stick, not a basketball) ignited a career that saw him become a three-time All-American at Oklahoma, an Olympic gold medalist and a 12-year NBA veteran.

Then there is music, Tisdale's "first love." He never took a lesson and still doesn't know what key his songs are in or the names of the notes he strums. He spent every Sunday playing the bass guitar in the Friendship Church where his father was pastor, even throughout college. And since retiring from the NBA in 1997, he's recorded eight jazz albums, performed on worldwide tours and collaborated with artists like country music star Toby Keith.

Good story.