Tisdale was a true class act, on and off the court

BY foxsports • May 26, 2009

One of the true class acts, Wayman Tisdale died Friday morning after a long battle with cancer. He was 44.

"He's one of the best human beings I've ever been around in my entire life."
Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel

I've never met anyone who said a bad word about the former Oklahoma and NBA star.

Tisdale was always smiling — even a few months ago when he walked into the Lloyd Noble Center with a cane and the entire crowd — including Sooners standout Blake Griffin — stopped to give him a standing ovation.

"He's one of the best human beings I've ever been around in my entire life," Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel told me Friday morning. "He had an incredible gift of making the people who came in contact with him feel incredibly special. His basketball talent and accomplishments pale in comparison to the impact he had on the lives that he influenced by the way he lived his life, and the tremendous character he displayed in his fight with cancer."

Former Oklahoma coach Billy Tubbs called Tisdale "the most courageous person that I've ever seen."

"He was obviously, a great, great player, but Wayman as a person overshadowed that," Tubbs said. "He just lit up a room and was so positive. This is a really hard loss and makes any loss in basketball or any other sport insignificant. He was a great human being. I'll miss everything about him."

My moment with Tisdale came a couple of decades ago when he was with the Indiana Pacers. I was in high school and did a phone interview with Tisdale while he was in his hotel room.

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