Wayman Lawrence Tisdale (June 9, 1964 – May 15, 2009) was an American professional basketball player in the NBA and a smooth jazz bass guitarist. A three-time All American at the University of Oklahoma,he was elected to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
Tisdale graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he grew up. As a college player at the University of Oklahoma from 1982 to 1985, he was a three-time Big Eight Conference Player of the Year and the first player in collegiate history to be named a first-team All American by the Associated Press in his freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons.
As a center and power forward, Tisdale averaged over 15 points and six rebounds per game in a 12-season professional career with the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and Phoenix Suns. His best season was in 1989–90 with the Kings, when he averaged 22.3 points and 7.5 rebounds a game. Tisdale and Mitch “The Rock” Richmond combined to form one of the most dynamic duos in the NBA. Tisdale retired in 1997 to focus on his musical career.
Tisdale launched his music career with Power Forward in 1995 on the Motown Label. Primarily a bass player, he recorded eight albums, with the 2001 release Face to Face climbing to No. 1 on Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart.
Tisdale died on May 15, 2009, at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, where his wife had taken him when he had trouble breathing. She later confirmed that he died after his esophagus ruptured following radiation treatments for his cancer. Tisdale’s agent described his death as a “great shock” and noted that Tisdale had been planning to go into the recording studio the following week for a project with jazz guitarist Norman Brown.