ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. States Basketball Writers
Association has named its freshman of the year award after former
University of Oklahoma great Wayman Tisdale.
The USBWA will present the award at the NCAA Final Four each
year in conjunction with a breakfast honoring the association's
Oscar Robertson Player of the Year Trophy and Henry Iba Coach of
the Year Award.
Tisdale was the first freshman to receive All-America honors
from the USBWA in 1983 when he averaged 24.5 points, 10.3 rebounds
and shot 58 percent from the field.
He went on to become a three-time All-American at Oklahoma, was
a member of the USA Olympic gold medal team in 1984 and played 12
seasons in the NBA where he averaged 15.3 points and 6.1 rebounds.
Tisdale died of complications from cancer in 2009 at the age
The USBWA has formed a partnership with Access Sports,
a non-profit group in Oklahoma City that will use the award for
fund-raising projects to support local charities and the Wayman
Tisdale Charitable Foundation.
In addition to the NCAA Final Four, the Tisdale Award winner
will also be honored at the annual Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame
gala each May in Oklahoma City.
"We are pleased to partner with Access Sports to honor the memory
of Wayman Tisdale," said Bryan Burwell, USBWA president and sports
columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"It's an appropriate honor, recognizing one of the truly great
basketball players of our time and the first freshman to be selected
as an All-American."
Past recipients of the USBWA's freshman of the year award include
Kentucky's John Wall last year, Michael Beasley of Kansas State,
Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina, Carmelo Anthony of Syracuse,
Jason Kidd of California and Chris Webber of Michigan.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in
1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers.
With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential
organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America
team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA
and its member and award programs, contact executive director Joe
Mitch at 314-421-0339.