EDMOND – The University of Central Oklahoma Jazz Lab is offering an exclusive screening tonight of “The Wayman Tisdale Story,” the Emmy Award winning feature-length documentary celebrating the life and legacy of Wayman Tisdale.
According to a news release, the film will be shown at 8 p.m. at the Jazz Lab, 100 E 5. Tickets are $10.
Tisdale, who hailed from Tulsa, was a three-time basketball All-American, Gold Medal Olympian, NBA star, and world renowned jazz musician. The film features his final interviews prior to his passing in 2009 as well as exclusive interviews with Michael Jordan, Dave Koz, Toby Keith, Marcus Miller, A.C. Green, Jonathan Butler and others.
Embodying his life’s approach of compassion, courage, and optimism, “The Wayman Tisdale Story” journeys through Tisdale’s life from this childhood as a preacher’s son to the battle with cancer that ultimately claimed his life. A story of human courage in the face of adversity, the documentary has aired on ESPN and NBA TV.
While attending Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Tisdale became one of the most highly touted high school basketball players in the country. After high school he played basketball at the University of Oklahoma, where he became the first player in college basketball history to become a first team All-American in his freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons. After winning the gold medal in the 1984 Olympic games, Tisdale decided to forgo his senior season at Oklahoma and entered the 1985 NBA draft. Over the next 12 years, Tisdale became an NBA star while playing for the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and Phoenix Suns.
A self-taught musician, Tisdale began playing the bass guitar during his father’s Sunday services. “He just always had a strong musical side and it was very important to him,” Michael Jordan explains in the documentary. As his basketball career was ending, he turned his focus to his self-described ‘first love’ with the release of his debut jazz album, “Power Forward,” which climbed to number four on the Billboard’s Contemporary jazz charts. In his short musical career, he released nine eclectic jazz albums – “Power Forward” (1995), “In The Zone” (1996), “Decisions” (1998), “Face To Face” (2001), “Presents 21 Days” (2003), “Hang Time” (2004), “Way Up!” (2006),”Rebound” (2008) and the posthumous “Fonk Record” (2010) — four of which hit No. 1 on the jazz charts.
In 2007 ,Tisdale began a two-year battle with bone cancer, including chemotherapy and the amputation of part of his right leg. Presented with a debilitating condition, Tisdale used his faith, music, and positive outlook on life to help others through the Wayman Tisdale Foundation, established to assist individuals in need of prosthetic limbs who could not afford them. Tisdale died May 15, 2009, at the age of 44.
Featured at multiple film festivals, the documentary garnered Best Documentary accolades from the Park City Film and Music Festival and International Christian Film Festival, Best Sports Documentary from the Los Angeles Sports Film Festival, Audience Choice Award Runner-up at the Pan African Film Festival, the 2010 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Award and a Regional Emmy at the Emmy Awards ceremony in Chicago.
The DVD and a combined CD/DVD are available from Rendezvous Music/Mack Avenue. Rendezvous Music complements the telling of Wayman’s story with a soundtrack featuring 13 songs, including the previously unreleased track, “Slam Dunk,” produced by Jeff Lorber, and “Cryin’ For Me,” which was written and performed as a tribute to Wayman by Toby Keith.
For more information on tonight’s screening, go to www.ucojazzlab.com.