After a two-year battle with bone cancer, former pro basketball player-turned-jazz musician Wayman Tisdale died on Friday morning at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to the Associated Press. He was 44.

“Wayman Tisdale is one of the best people I have ever had the privilege of knowing,” Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel said in a statement. “He had an incredible gift of making the people who came in contact with him feel incredibly special.”

the 44-year-old chartopping musician’s death was announced on the Oklahoma Senate floor Friday by Senate Majority Leader Todd Lamb, who led the chamber in prayer.

“Whether you’re a Cowboy or a Sooner, Oklahoma has lost a great ambassador,” Lamb said. “He was a gifted musician, a gifted athlete and he just wore that well wherever he went.”

Loading the player...

Even after discovering he had a cancerous cyst below his right knee in February 2007 and having his leg amputated last August, Tisdale remained optimistic.

“Nothing can change me,” Tisdale told The Associated Press last June. “You go through things. You don’t change because things come in your life. You get better because things come in your life.”

Tisdale is survived by his wife, Regina, and four children.–KNB