NORMAN - In recent years, the annual Tip-In Club banquet has had a national flavor with Dick Vitale and Billy Packer as featured speakers.
This year, Oklahoma men's basketball coach Kelvin Sampson wanted some home cooking with a smile.
Former OU great Wayman Tisdale supplied both.
When introducing Tisdale to the crowd of 600 gathered on the floor of the Lloyd Noble Center on Thursday night, Sampson said what he remembered most about Tisdale were his turnaround soft jumper and his infectious smile.
For 40 minutes, Tisdale spoke seemingly about whatever popped into his mind while recapping his three All-America seasons at OU (1982-85) and his 12-year NBA career.
Tisdale had prepared notes, but rarely glanced at them.
Mixed in was some advice and a solid impersonation of former Sooners coach Billy Tubbs. Tisdale said the most valuable lesson Tubbs taught him was to be fearless.
"Hey," Tisdale said, speaking in Tubbs' familiar twang. "You can't be scared of nothin'. Look a challenge in the eye and kick its ass."
Some of Tisdale's light-hearted insights:
On winning: "Win at all costs. Some people say it doesn't matter if you win or lose. I want to win. I'm sorry. I played my son the other day and I had 50 (points) against him. I want to win. He's only 9, but he knows who his daddy is right now."
On being drafted by the Indiana Pacers: "Frankly, the Pacers didn't really need me. I thought they needed Jesus more than they needed me. We were pretty bad."
Tisdale's favorite coach: Tubbs.
Toughest player he ever played against: Larry Bird.
Hardest worker: Dennis Rodman.
Best player: Michael Jordan.
"My first sport was football, but I think football brought out the woman in me."
The first time basketball team Tisdale played for was in sixth grade. The first basket he made was for the opposing team.
In eighth grade, he lost a game by shooting an airball in the closing seconds. After a good cry, Tisdale vowed he would "never have this feeling again," and began working hard to improving.
He was approached by more than 200 colleges out of Tulsa Washington High School. The three finalists were Georgetown, Houston and OU.
A thankful Sampson said he thought coming back to speak might have been good for Tisdale.
"Keeping former players coming back; to me, that's what makes a program," Sampson said.Archive ID: 828484