Vol. 48, No. 1 November 2010 .pdf version
Bryan Burwell: Separating news is our job
Joe Mitch: Honored to present new Tisdale Award
John Akers: Media guide model of future
Wendy Parker: NCAA opening door wider
Kirk Wessler: SIDs in lockdown mode?
Duke dominates preseason poll, watch lists

Joe Mitch

USBWA is honored to present new Wayman Tisdale Award

By JOE MITCH / Missouri Valley Conference
USBWA Executive Director

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The U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Freshman of the Year award has a new name the Wayman Tisdale Award.

The award is named in honor of the former Oklahoma great who was the first freshman to receive All-America honors from the USBWA in 1983 when he averaged 24.5 points and 10.3 rebounds and shot 58 percent from the field.


The 6-foot-9 Tisdale went on to become a three-time All-American at Oklahoma, was a member of the USA's Olympic gold-medal team in 1984 and played 12 seasons in the NBA, averaging 15.3 points.

He was also a nationally recognized jazz musician and was actively involved in many charitable and humanitarian causes, including the Wayman Tisdale Foundation, which provides financial assistance to amputees needing prosthetics. Tisdale died of complications from cancer in 2009 at the age of 44.

"I think it's a very appropriate honor, considering Wayman was the first freshman to ever make All-American," said former Oklahoma coach Billy Tubbs.

Members of the USBWA will select the Tisdale freshman of the year and honor the recipient each year at the USBWA's college basketball awards breakfast held during the weekend of the NCAA Final Four.

A second presentation will be made to the winner in May at a dinner hosted by Access Sports, an Oklahoma City-based not-for-profit foundation, at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.

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Funds raised through the award by Access Sports will go to support local charities, particularly youth basketball in Oklahoma. The Tisdale Foundation will also be a direct beneficiary.

USBWA AWARDS: Nominations are now being accepted for the USBWA's postseason awards that are presented at the Final Four each year.

The USBWA's Hall of Fame, established in 1988, honors members past and present who have made significant contributions to the organization and are recognized for their achievements in sports journalism.

To be eligible for consideration, an individual must have a minimum of 20 years in the profession.

The USBWA added three members last year Skip Myslenski, retired Chicago Tribune sportswriter; past president Bud Withers of the Seattle Times; and former NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers, who helped establish the USBWA 54 years ago.

The USBWA's Katha Quinn Award is named after the former St. John's University sports information director who passed away from cancer in 1989. The award recognizes individuals in college basketball for their service to the media or the inspiration they provide to those in sports journalism.

Last year's recipient was Chris Fallon, media coordinator for the NIT.

The USBWA's oldest award is the Most Courageous Award, which was established in 1978 and is the only one of its kind in college basketball. It is presented to a player, coach, game official or athletics administrator who has faced obstacles in life and demonstrated extraordinary courage reflecting honor on college basketball.

Last season, for the first time in its history, the USBWA presented a men's and women's Most Courageous Award. Brigham Young coach Dave Rose, who overcame pancreatic cancer to guide the Cougars to an NCAA tournament berth last season, was named the men's winner. The women's award went to Tiffara Steward, who overcame several disabilities to play at Farmingdale State.

USBWA members who have individuals they wish to nominate for any of the awards should send them to my attention at mitch@usbwa.com.

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