The legend of Wayman Tisdale delivers vast descriptions. Basketball star. Jazz great. Cancer survivor. Thursday brought a new superlative: Hall of Famer. Tisdale, Oklahoma's all-time leading scorer and a three-time consensus All-American, was elected to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, joining a group of eight to be inducted as part of the 2009 class. "It's just terrific to have Wayman in," said former Sooner coach Billy Tubbs, the man responsible for recruiting Tisdale to OU out of Tulsa's Booker T. Washington High School. "It's great, because he really, really deserves it." Tisdale put a changing face on OU basketball in many ways. Not only was he a difference maker as a player, elevating the Sooners to national prominence while scoring 2,661 points over three seasons - a career average of 25.6 points a game - his personality endeared most who saw him play. "He was such a charismatic player," Tubbs said. "And he responded so well to the fans. The big smile, he was a guy who was really loved in the state of Oklahoma." Tisdale's arrival at OU coincided with the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance under Tubbs in 1983. During his three-year career, he was the Big Eight Player of the Year for every season, led the league in scoring all three years and became just the 10 th player in NCAA history to 2,000 career points and 1,000 rebounds. "He brought a lot of legitimacy to our program," Tubbs said. Tisdale was the second overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft, going to the Indiana Pacers. "I'm very happy for Wayman and the announcement of his induction into the College Basketball Hall of Fame," current Sooner coach Jeff Capel said from Detroit, site of the Final Four. "Wayman had one of the best careers in the history of college basketball. This is a well-deserved honor." Along with Tisdale, Michigan State's Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Indiana State's Larry Bird and Kentucky State's Travis "Machine Gun" Grant represent the players to be honored. Two coaches - Michigan State's Jud Heathcote and Memphis State's Gene Bartow - along with contributors to the game Bill Wall and Walter Byers round out this year's class. The induction ceremony will be Nov. 22 at the College Basketball Experience, which houses the hall in the Spirit Center in Kansas City, Mo. Tisdale is the sixth person inducted with Oklahoma ties. The inaugural 2006 class included former OU coach Bruce Drake, former Oklahoma State coach Henry Iba, former OSU star Bob Kurland and former Langston and Harlem Globetrotter Marques Haynes. In 2008, former Tulsa coach Nolan Richardson went in. Tisdale's impact on the Sooners was immediate. Although the Sooners lost, Tisdale scored 21 points and blocked four shots in his debut against UNLV. By season's end, he averaged 24.5 points, OU went 24-9 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. By the end of his career, which spanned just three years before he left for the NBA after his junior season, Tisdale owned the school career records for points, rebounds, field goals, field goal percentage, free throws and free throw attempts. "I told him this when we were recruiting him, and it was a fact, we were building that program around him," Tubbs said. "He was a national player coming out of high school. He was known around the basketball community as an outstanding player. "I told him we were going to get him the ball and build the offense around him. And that's really what we did. He was a perfect fit for our offense. Every now and then you see a guy and go, 'Wow, this guy is the perfect fit.' You think that when you're recruiting him, and it certainly came true."
Thunder BLOG: Thunder To Honor Wayman Tisdale Tuesday