Who Says There Is No Life Beyond Basketball?

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[Black Star News Editorial]

Former Oklahoma player and NBA sharpshooter Wayman Tisdale was a star beyond basketball.

He also had the most effusive smile of anyone that ever played basketball. Tisdale, it turns out, was also a great Jazz man as well, and ended up recording 12 albums.

Tisdale succumbed to cancer at age 44 last Friday at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, OK. He had battled bone cancer for the last two years and his right leg was amputated last year.

He never lost his fighting spirit and was about to open the Wayman Tisdale Foundation whose goal was to financially and emotionally help amputees.

Many of Tisdale's albums were ranked among the top 10 on the Billboard charts.

Before he made a name for himself in the Jazz world, Tisdale had shattered many records on the playing field. No one has yet broken his Oklahoma career scoring and rebounding records with 2,661 points and 1,048 rebounds, respectively. He was the first Oklahoma University athlete ever to have his jersey retired, in 1997.

In the NBA he played for the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and the Phoenix Suns. He averaged 15.3 points in the NBA.

Tisdale was honored in 2002, with the Legacy Tribute Award by the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. Tisdale will be inducted into the  Oklahoma Hall of Fame on November 12th, 2009.

He is survived by Regina, his wife, and four children: Tiffany, Danielle, Gabrielle and Wayman II; and, a granddaughter, Bailey.

Tisdale shows that young athletes --especially young Black males-- can indeed be great role models within and outside the field of professional sports.

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