Former Oklahoma Great Wayman Tisdale Being Treated For Cancer

Tisdale expects full recovery

March 30, 2007

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -Former Oklahoma basketball great Wayman Tisdale is undergoing treatment for a cancerous cyst discovered below his right knee after he broke his leg.

Tisdale, a 6-foot-9 Tulsa native who played 12 seasons in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns, disclosed the cancer earlier this week on his Web site. He said the prognosis for his recovery is excellent.

"I am so pleased to report that my recovery will be 100 percent and that I have been told that I am otherwise cancer-free," Tisdale said.

On the Web site, the 42-year-old Tisdale said he broke the leg in a fall at his home in Los Angeles last month. After the injury, Tisdale said doctors determined the cyst was the cause of the injury and removed it.

The Tulsa World reported that Tisdale's treatment is expected to last six months, starting with his first chemotherapy session next week, and he is scheduled to undergo knee-replacement surgery in Tulsa in May.

"Maybe if he doesn't break his leg, they don't find (the cancer), so it's a blessing in disguise," said Billy Tubbs, Tisdale's former coach who is now athletic director at Lamar.

Tisdale, now an award-winning jazz musician, said he has been told to curtail his touring and public appearances so that he can "recover properly." He said his next performance will be in January 2008 and that in the interim, he will work on a new album with the working title of "Rebound."

His latest album, "Way Up," debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's contemporary jazz chart.

"I want to thank you all for your kindness and well wishes, which, together with my desire to be with you again, may very well help me to recover sooner than expected," Tisdale said on his Web site.

In 1983, Tisdale became the first freshman ever to make The Associated Press' first-team All-America list. Since then, only three other freshmen - including Kevin Durant of Texas and Greg Oden of Ohio State this season - have matched that feat.


 

 

Tisdale was also an All-American in 1984 and 1985. He was the Big Eight Conference's player of the year in each of his three seasons with the Sooners and still holds Oklahoma's single-game, season and career scoring records. He played on the U.S. team that won the gold medal in the 1984 Olympic Games.

He went on to average 15.3 points per game during his pro career.

"Of course, you're very concerned about it, but it appears that it's been caught in time and that it hasn't spread to other parts of his body," Tubbs said. "When he told me about it, he seemed upbeat and the quote was that 'This is just going to take a minute.' He is positive as you need to be in that situation. I'm sure he will get a lot of prayers."