Wayman Tisdale, the former Sacramento King, who went on to a major musical career died this morning from cancer. Tisdale had a 12-year professional basketball career, playing from 1989-1994 in Sacramento and averaging 22.3 points per game in his first season with the Kings. He retired in 1997 and then focused on playing music. Tisdale recorded eight albums as a band leader playing left-handed bass.
Lee Hansen, program director at Smooth Jazz KSSJ 94.7, reflected on Tisdale this morning.
"The first time I met him, he told me he used basketball as way to get a college education. He always considered himself a musician first. He wisely perceived that basketball and professional sports would secure his future and his family's future," Hansen said.
"When he walked in the room he always lit it up. We called him 'the big man with the big smile.' As much as he was respected for his basketball playing and he loved his music, there's no question his family and his faith were the two most important aspects of his existence," Hansen said.
"When we did a couple of in-stores where people got to meet him up close. We did one when he was on the rebound from cancer last spring as his new CD came out. He needed the assistance of a cane to get around. As he came out with the cane, this incredible physical specimen, he still had this big beaming smile. He talked about it a little bit and the crowd at Borders just about came out of their seats. They wanted to run up and hug him because he was so positive about everything. He made everybody else feel good in spite of the battle he was in," Hansen said.
Get to Tisdale's website at www.tisway.com