OU's career scoring and rebounding leader one of eight in 2009 class.
Nov. 22, 2009
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Oklahoma's career leader in points and rebounds, the late Wayman Tisdale was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Sunday evening during a two-hour ceremony at the Midland Theatre.
Tisdale, a three-time consensus first-team All-American and three-time Big Eight Conference Player of the Year who died from cancer last May at the age of 44, was joined in the eight-member class by Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Travis Grant, coaches Gene Bartow and Jud Heathcote and contributors Bill Wall and Walter Byers.
Tisdale's wife, Regina, accepted the honor on her husband's behalf, and was joined on stage for a question-and-answer session with former OU head coach Billy Tubbs.
"I remember him being excited," Regina Tisdale told ceremony co-host Clark Kellogg of Wayman's reaction upon finding out he would be in the 2009 induction class. "I remember him calling his brothers, his friends. He was so excited because we, of course, felt like he did quite a bit and accomplished quite a bit, and, quite honestly, felt like he hadn't been recognized for it. So he was excited, we were excited. The only thing that puts a little damper on it is that he isn't here to receive it himself."
Said Tubbs, "Wayman was the perfect fit for the offensive schemes we had because he could shoot the ball. And it's critical in the game of basketball that you make shots. He was a physical player."
Tubbs continued, "(He was) probably one of the most charismatic players that I've been around, and that reflected on the whole team. He loved the game of basketball. Behind that smile was such a competitor, because he wanted to beat your tail. And he was good at that."
Tisdale averaged 25.6 points and 10.1 rebounds over his three-year Oklahoma career before turning pro and becoming the No. 2 overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft. He scored in double figures in all but one of his 104 games as a collegian.
When asked by ceremony co-host Steve Lavin about one or two of Tisdale's OU moments that stood out in Tubbs' mind, the coach said, "One of the things he did that sticks on my mind is that he signed with us. That was the first thing. I really liked that."
Tisdale, a 6-9 lefty, who also holds OU career records for field goals, free throw makes and free throw attempts, was the leading rebounder on the 1984 U.S. Olympic gold medal team that consisted of collegiate players.
Tisdale also holds the school single-game scoring record of 61 points, set against UT San Antonio during his sophomore season.
Among those in attendance from OU were athletics director Joe Castiglione and men's basketball head coach Jeff Capel. Tisdale teammates David Johnson and Tommy Tubbs were also on hand to witness the ceremony.
ESPNU is scheduled to televise the ceremony Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. CST.