May 16, 2009 in Sports

Fast Break



Former college, NBA star dies

Wherever Wayman Tisdale went, whatever he was doing, chances were he was smiling.

Tisdale was a three-time All-American at Oklahoma in the mid-1980s before playing a dozen years in the NBA and later becoming an accomplished jazz musician.

But those who knew Tisdale, who died Friday at a hospital in his hometown of Tulsa, Okla., recalled not only his professional gifts but a perpetually sunny outlook, even in the face of a two-year battle with cancer that took his life at 44.

“I don’t know of any athlete at Oklahoma or any place else who was more loved by the fans who knew him than Wayman Tisdale,” said Billy Tubbs, who coached Tisdale with the Sooners. “He was obviously a great, great player, but Wayman as a person overshadowed that. He just lit up a room and was so positive.”

Jeff Capel, the current Oklahoma coach, noted Tisdale’s “incredible gift of making the people who came in contact with him feel incredibly special.”

After three years at Oklahoma, Tisdale played in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns. The 6-foot-9 forward, with a soft left-handed touch on the court, averaged 15.3 points for his career. He was on the U.S. team that won the gold medal in the 1984 Olympics.

Extreme Kayaking

Palouse Falls plunge revealed

He doesn’t know how Palouse Falls is pronounced, yet Tyler Bradt, 22, is giving the Eastern Washington state park landmark a publicity blitz money can’t buy.

The video of the Montanan’s April 21 kayak descent over the falls has finally been released through the Sports Illustrated Web site along with a photo in this week’s magazine.

Although the state park lists the height of the falls at 198 feet, Bradt is pegging it at 186 – plenty high enough to break the previous world record of 127 feet set in Brazil in March.

Check it out:

Track and field

It hit him like a Bolt out of blue

Usain Bolt says a recent car crash has forced him to reassess his life.

The three-time Olympic gold medalist crashed his car into a ditch along a highway in Jamaica last month.

He had minor surgery on his left foot after stepping on thorns while getting out of the car.

“After something like that you look at life through and over, and look at what has gone wrong – where you should improve or should be careful,” Bolt said.

Bolt returns to competition Sunday in a 150-meter street race in Manchester, England.

The accident has been linked to criticism of Bolt’s lifestyle since he set world records in the 100, 200 and 400-meter relay at the Beijing Olympics.

Associated Press Associated Press

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email