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Anthony Davis, Mike Krzyzewski to be honored with Wayman Tisdale Awards at Cowboy Museum

County music star Toby Keith, left, hugs Regina Tisdale at the 2011 Wayman Tisdale Awards dinner in Oklahoma City. The event designates a men's college basketball player of the year, and a leading humanitarian, in honor of Regina's late husband, Wayman. This year's honorees are Anthony Davis of Kentucky and Coach Mike Kzyzewski of Duke. File Photo, The City Sentinel

Staff Report

Anthony Davis of Kentucky, winner of the 2012 Wayman Tisdale Award as the men’s National Freshman of the Year, will be honored Monday, April 16 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) chose Davis for the honor. This year’s winner of the Tisdale Humanitarian Award is Coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, now the winningest coach in college basketball history.

Davis was recognized at the USBWA College Basketball Awards Breakfast on Fri., March 30 in New Orleans in conjunction with the NCAA Men’s Final Four. In this year’s title game, Davis was stellar on defense, with 16 rebounds, six blocked shots and five assists. Kentucky gained a 67-59 championship victory over Kansas.

One of the most influential basketball organizations in the world, USBWA has named an All-American team since the 1956-57 season. The USBWA made the Tisdale Freshman of the Year announcement from its headquarters in St Louis.

The Tisdale Awards banquet, hosted by Access Sports of Oklahoma City, honors both the top player on the hard court and a leading humanitarian. Last year’s winners were Ohio State University star Jared Sullinnger and sports journalist Dick Vitale.

Devon Energy of Oklahoma City is presenting sponsor of the awards program. Integris Health sponsors an annual golf classic that supports Access Sports programs. Chesapeake Energy has consistently supported the Tisdale Awards, and this year has partnered with Access Sports and Fox Sports Southwest to distill the April 16 program into a 30-minute television special originating from Okalhma City.

Other supporters of the awards include the Knights of Columbus Building Corporation of Oklahoma City, and Knights Council No. 1038.

The gala evening honoring Davis and Krzyzewski helps fund special events at the Santa Fe Family Life facility in north Oklahoma City. The benefited programs at Santa Fe support mentally and physically handicapped children, students and teachers in Fresh Start, Cleats for Kids, residents of the Center for Family Love in Okarche, and many other local causes. The Santa Fe Family Life Center is designated home of the Wayman Tisdale Awards.

Davis, a first-team USBWA All-American, the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and has garnered several other national recognitions since leading the University of Kentucky Wildcats to the national championship.

During the regular season, the 6-10 forward from Chicago started all 34 games this season and led the team with 14.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game while shooting 64.2 percent from the field, second best in the nation. Davis also leads the nation in blocks (157). In 28 of those 34 games, he scored in double figures while recording 17 double-doubles.

Davis is the second Kentucky player in three years to win the USBWA’s National Freshman of the Year Award, joining John Wall, who won the award in 2010. The USBWA has chosen a national freshman of the year since the 1988-89 season.

This season marks the second year the award has been named in honor of Wayman Tisdale, who attended elementary school at Immaculate Conception in north Tulsa, then was a star at Tulsa’s Booker T. Washington and the University of Oklahoma before going on to an outstanding career in the National Basketball Association. He also played on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team.

After retiring from the NBA in 1997, Wayman embarked on successful career in jazz music. Diagnosed with cancer in 2007, his right leg was amputated in 2008. He died in May 2009. He is considered the greatest college basketball player ever to emerge from Tulsa, and arguably the best player in OU history.

The Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award presented by Devon is produced by Access Sports, an Oklahoma City-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to supporting various charitable causes, including funding prosthetic devices for needy individuals through the Wayman L. Tisdale Foundation, educational scholarships through the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and funding of youth basketball programs throughout the state of Oklahoma through Wayman’s Lightning Basketball League.
Tickets and sponsorships for the April 16 event have sold briskly, but some individual seats and a couple of potential sponsorships remained, program organizer Scott Hill told The City Sentinel. For information, visit, or contact Scott Hill (405-749-1515, [email protected]). Note that this email address is protected from spambots and you need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Note: Executive Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report.

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