Tisdale Perseveres with Faith Intact

Monday, November 17th 2008, 9:56 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

For years it seemed nothing could go wrong in the life of Wayman Tisdale, as he was a huge success in basketball and jazz.

After years of defying gravity on the basketball court, Tisdale was brought down to earth by cancer. He lost a leg, but not his faith.

"The most gratifying thing to me was when I woke up out of surgery I was still Wayman Tisdale," Tisdale said.

It was the same old Tisdale who was being fitting for his customized prosthesis in Oklahoma City.

Many amputees would be depressed over losing a leg and having to learn to walk all over again, but not Tisdale.

"He's been nothing but excited and joking and jovial and true," said. Scott Sabolich of Sabolich Prosthetics and Research. "He seems to be really happy about it."

At age 44, it's a new challenge, a new chapter, for this multi-talented man. Tisdale's life has had so many chapters, including as an OU All-American, Olympic gold medalist, NBA star, and successful jazz musician. Now he said his amputation has opened up new avenues and new opportunities

He'll keep making his own music and producing the music of others, but he won't stop there.

"I'm going to be able to go on the speaking circuit," Tisdale said. "I'm going to be able to go and through my foundation, help out kids who maybe cannot afford a limb. I want to present them with, ‘Hey, this is what I have, you can have that too.'"

First, he must master the art of walking all over again and he's ahead of schedule.

"I'm going to be able to make so many more people and touch so many more people than I ever had in my life," Tisdale said.