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Tisdale Lost to Cancer

Wayman Tisdale

By Associated Press/KWGS News

Tulsa, OK – UNDATED (AP) Former Oklahoma All-America and NBA basketball player Wayman Tisdale has died at a Tulsa hospital after a two-year battle with cancer.

Tisdale died about 8 this morning at St. John Medical Center. He was 44.

After three years at OU Tisdale spent 12 seasons in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns, then became an award-winning jazz musician.

Tisdale also played on the U.S. team that won the gold medal in the 1984 Olympic Games.

Tisdale learned just last month he had been chosen for induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

In 1997 he became the first Oklahoma player in any sport to have his jersey number retired.

Two years ago Tisdale gave his permission to then-freshman Blake Griffin to wear No. 23.

Griffin went on to become the consensus national player of the year this past season as a sophomore.

Tisdale is survived by his wife, Regina, and four children.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

Oklahoma City - Gov. Brad Henry today made the following comments about Wayman Tisdale, the OU basketball great and renowned jazz musician who died this morning of cancer. He was 44 years old.

"Oklahoma has lost one of its most beloved sons. Wayman Tisdale was a hero both on and off the basketball court. Wayman played at OU during the time I attended school there, and I had the privilege of seeing a true champion in action. He was an incredible athlete and competitor.

"Off the court, he was an equally gifted musician and a tremendous ambassador for our state. I had the pleasure of appointing Wayman to serve on the state Tourism Commission, and it was one of the best appointments I have made as governor.

"In his two-year battle with cancer, Wayman demonstrated courage, faith and true strength of character. Even in the most challenging of times, he had a smile for people, and he had the rare ability to make everyone around him smile. He was one of the most inspirational people I have ever known.

"Wayman Tisdale was a man of extraordinary talents and an extraordinary heart, and he will be deeply missed. Kim and I have Wayman's wife, children and family in our thoughts and prayers."