Former Oklahoma Sooner and Indiana Pacer Wayman Tisdale, one of the very small number of professional athletes to boast musical careers that stand up in their own right, passed away this morning at 44. He had been battling bone cancer since 2007.
Tisdale played bass in bands throughout his college and NBA career before retiring in 1997 to focus exclusively on his music. He spent the past dozen years playing alongside other smooth jazz/funk notables as Dave Koz and George Duke, and in 2008 recorded a version of Barry White's "Never Gonna Give You Up" with Toby Keith guesting on vocals. His albums charted consistently on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Top 10.
Former Pacer Reggie Miller, one of many to pay tribute today, said of his former teammate, "He was the nicest man in the world with the biggest heart and an even bigger smile. I thank him for befriending me and showing me there is more to life than just basketball...my condolences go out to Regina and the Tisdale family."
Enjoy this clip from 2006's Way Up.
Question for anyone with fact-checking chops: has anyone other than Tisdale won both an an Olympic Gold Medal and a Grammy?