Tisdale has part of leg amputated to stem bone cancer

Updated: August 27, 2008, 9:07 AM ET
Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Former NBA player Wayman Tisdale had part of his right leg amputated Monday because of bone cancer.

Tisdale, 44, revealed on his Web site that the surgery was scheduled for Monday. His wife, Regina, told The Associated Press on Tuesday night the surgery had taken place as planned.

"Everything went well," she said.

Tisdale, a 6-foot-9 Tulsa native who played for Oklahoma before spending 12 seasons in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns, first learned he had a cancerous cyst below his right knee after he broke his leg in a fall at his home in Los Angeles on Feb. 8, 2007.

Tisdale, now an award-winning jazz musician, underwent treatment and later had knee replacement surgery and resumed touring. Tisdale was still undergoing chemotherapy when he told the AP in June that "I feel better than ever. I'm excited. I've got a whole new look on life. I look at life on a whole 'nother radar."

Tisdale told the AP that his latest album, "Rebound," was inspired by his ongoing fight against the cancer.

On his Web site, Tisdale said removing a portion of the leg would be the best way to ensure that the cancer would not return.

"This may sound drastic, but I have put it in God's hands and now have peace, knowing that this is the best way to put this disease in check," he said. "I have complete faith that with the Lord's blessings this surgery will eliminate the cancer from my body and I'll soon be back on the road doing what I do best."

Tisdale said he planned to resume touring in the fall and that he would attend an annual cruise that he hosts.

According to statistics from the National Cancer Institute, about 63 percent of people diagnosed with bone cancer live at least 10 more years.

In 1983, Tisdale became the first freshman to make The Associated Press' first-team All-America list.

Tisdale was also an All-American in 1984 and 1985. He was the Big Eight Conference's player of the year in each of his three seasons with the Sooners and still holds Oklahoma's single-game, season and career scoring records. He played on the U.S. team that won the gold medal in the 1984 Olympic Games.

He went on to average 15.3 points per game during his pro career.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press