She plugged it in. Then she smiled. Not surprised at all.
"1,500 contacts?" she said. "Who knows that many people? We jokingly told people that if you met Wayman, you felt like you knew him your whole life."
That's how a digital Rolodex fills up fast.
That's how it was with Wayman Tisdale, the most dynamic, decorated and demonstrative player to ever hit the court at Oklahoma.
And the most likely to pass along his phone number, too.
"I'd ask him about it all the time," Regina said. "I told him he didn't have to give out his personal number to everyone he met. But that's the way he was. If you met him once, it was like you knew him your whole life. You were his friend."
Perhaps no player did more for basketball at Oklahoma than Tisdale did and certainly no smile did more either.
As the University celebrates Black History Month this February with features on four Sooners who made an impact at Oklahoma, it's Tisdale's achievements that put him among the greatest to play here.
But it's the All-Star smile people will remember.
"Say that name to anyone and you'll get them to smile," said OU Athletic Director Joe Castiglione. "The legacy he left is much more than just sports."
The legacy is prolific, dotted with awards and honors like an Olympic Gold Medal in 1984, representing his country first and his University as well. There was the three All-American teams Tisdale made at OU, making the Sooners relevant again in basketball.
And then there was that smile.
"At first, people wanted to try and figure out if he was for real or just turning it on and off," Regina Tisdale said. "I was around him for more than 30 years. Everyone mentions that smile. He was a friend to anyone. He would talk to a wall, if it talked back, and he met no strangers.
"He had the best smile I have ever seen."
Regina Tisdale met Wayman Tisdale when the two were in high school, and in more than three decades alongside him, said she saw Wayman upset only twice -- once when his grandmother passed away and once when his father passed away.
But not when doctors discovered he had cancer in 2007 or when he lost part of his leg to the disease a year later. And not even in his last days before he died in 2009 at the age of 44.
"That says a lot," Regina said. "He just smiled and told me it was going to be OK. He never got down. It helped me seeing him fight and seeing his happiness."
That happiness was also seen in his three years at OU where he became, and still is, the school's all-time leading scorer, dominating opponents and charming the crowd. It was also seen, but not believed, when Tisdale played in the NBA for Indiana, Sacramento and Phoenix.
"I heard a fan heckling him in Sacramento," Regina said, remembering Tisdale's time with the Kings. "He was getting on him because he said he smiled too much and was having too much fun. I said, "Are you serious?'"
Tisdale was. And he was competitive, too.
"It was hard to get under his skin," said former Sooner teammate Darryl Kennedy. "He'd just smile and kill you with kindness. Never stay mad. And you couldn't stay mad at him and the coaches couldn't either. You'd just watch him and see what he could do and you'd smile right along with him."
That attitude also helped Tisdale achieve greatness in the music industry. Primarily a bass player, Tisdale recorded eight albums, starting in 1995. His 2001 album Face to Face made it to No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart.
Just another way to make people smile.
"Everyone always asked me if he was like that all the time," Regina said. "Absolutely. He gave a shot of energy to basketball at OU. But every day, as soon as he opened his eyes, he was laughing and joking. That's a big part of what people will remember."
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This is the third feature in a special four-part series as OU celebrates Black History Month.
Gautt's impact is still felt at Oklahoma and beyond.
|Lee Roy Selmon
As dominant as he was on the field, his legacy...
Tisdale captivated fans with his infectious smile.
|Teresa (Ray) Turner
Turner continues to give back to student-athletes.