Dumas shaken by loss of 'role model'
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Friday, May 22, 2009
5/22/09 at 5:41 AM
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While Wayman Tisdale seems universally regarded as the best basketball player in state history, Tisdale himself expressed a high level of respect for the ability of Richard Dumas.
Tisdale and Dumas both attended Booker T. Washington High School. Tisdale graduated in 1982, Dumas in 1987.
In 2002, Tisdale said, "I still think the best high school player I ever saw was Richard Dumas, and not just because he played at my high school. He was an incredible talent."
During Tisdale's funeral at the BOK Center, the 40-year-old Dumas sat alone in section 107. He wept during the first several minutes of the service and still seemed shaken when it ended.
As a child and a teen, Dumas says, he idolized Tisdale. During the 1994-95 NBA season, they were teammates with the Phoenix Suns.
"Wayman Tisdale always touched my life," Dumas said. "When we played together in Phoenix, we had Bible study when we were on the road. He cared enough about me that he wanted me to be in that Bible study with him and (Phoenix teammates) A.C. Green and Kevin Johnson.
"I always respected Wayman because he was a family man. I wanted to be just like him. He was a role model to me, and he always tried to help me."
In 2003, then-Booker T. Washington coach Nate Harris discussed the virtues of Tisdale and Dumas.
"In terms of pure basketball ability, Richard Dumas is the most versatile player ever in the city of Tulsa," Harris said. "Wayman was a dominating presence on the inside, and Richard could play all five positions. How do you judge who was best? They were both high school All-Americans. They were both big-timers."
Bill Haisten 581-8397