Tisdale Charvat winner
BY Steve Schoenfeld Tribune Sports Writer
Jan 14, 1985
Norman – Some time this week, University of Oklahoma center Wayman Tisdale expects to get a phone call at 8 a.m.
He will stumble out of bed to answer the phone – unless brother William gets it first.
“It will be my mother calling,” William said. “Not many people call at 8 a.m., so we know it's her.
“First, she will ask us how we are doing. Then, she will say, 'Are you studying? How are your grades?' It happens every time.”
Wayman might be big enough to conquer the Chinese, Germans and Spanards in leading the U.W. basketball team to an Olympic gold medal or break the Big Eight career scoring record, but he still is under the thumb of dear old mom.
“She's glad I'm doing well in basketball, but she realizes the ball is not going to bounce forever,” said Tisdale.
The 6-foot-9 Tisdale owns 14 school records at OU and seven Big Eight marks.
He added another accomplishment to his list today when he was named the 1984 winner of The Tulsa Tribune's Jack Charvat Award, given annually to the outstanding amateur athlete in the four-state area of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri.
Tisdale, a two-time All American, won the award named in honor of late Tribune sports editor Jack Charvat.
Runners-up were Bruce Baumgartner, former Oklahoma State assistant wrestling coach who won a gold medal at heavyweight at the Olympics; Tony Casillas, who as a junior nose guard at OU was a consensus All-American; Al Joyner, former Arkansas State triple jumper who won a gold medal at the Olympics; Leslie O'Neal, who as a junior defensive tackle at OSU was a consensus All-American; Scott Verplank, OSU golfer who won the U.S. Amateur Championship last summer, and Lynette Woodward, captain of the gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic women's basketball team.
Tisdale, a graduate of Washington High School, had one of the most amazing years in collegiate basketball history.
Last winter, he set a Big Eight single-game scoring mark of 61 points against Texas-San Antonio, set a league single-season scoring record with 919 points and averaged 27 points and 9.7 rebounds to lead the Sooners to a 29-5 record and conference regular-season title.
He was the leading rebounder on the U.S. Olympic team with a 6.4 average and averaged 8.6 points per game during the eight game tournament.
Tisdale, he youngest of six children of Rev. Louis and Deborah Tisdale, hasn't always had great success athletically. In fact, he doesn't consider himself a great athlete.
“I've always been just a one-sport kid,” Tisdale said. “I've never been that talented. In my early years, I tried to play baseball, but I wasn't good at it. In track, I had the longest lege in the class so could beat people. But that changed when I got older. The only things I could beat people in was being the tallest.”
Then, there was football, the sport Wayman tried only one year, in sixth grade . It wasn't tackle football. He played tight end on a flag-football team in the recreational league.
“His team used to run the end around,” William said. “He ran the ball 15 times and gained 14 yards.”
In junior high, Tisdale decided basketball would be his game, but he still wasn't that good at it.
He didn't become a dominating player until high school, when he teamed with William to lead Washington to the Class 5A state championship his junior year.
It was then that most first noticed that effervescent smile that Tisdale almost always seems to have on his face.
That smile has become his trademark. Even during the roughest times, he keeps everybody loose.
His biggest test might have been last Wednesday night. Playing in his hometown for the first time as a collegian, he was taunted by the University of Tulsa's Herb Johnson before the game and then booed by many of the TU fans throughout the Sooners' 104-89 loss.
“A lot of people would have lost their temper that night, but not Wayman,” William said. “A lot of people respect him for that. He showed his real self. He showed his class.”
There have been few area athletes with as much class.
“Sure, that game bothered me,” Wayman said. “I had 26 points and 17 rebounds with their whole team on my back.
“But why should I have gotten upset and lost my cool during the game? I gave Tulsa a lot of credit. They talked a lot of noise and backed it up.”
Those comments will make his mother proud. She might even let him sleep an extra hour this week.