ARCADIA — Jordan Woodard wants everyone to know where he's from.
“I wasn't a city kid,” Oklahoma's freshman point guard said. “I was real country so I got to get away from the world and really focus on my game and my family. That's how I pretty much grew up ... God, family and basketball.
“Those were my real values.”
And Woodard found those in Arcadia, just down Route 66 from Edmond and known mostly as the home of the Round Barn and Pop's.
Saturday, he'll play in his first Bedlam game in Stillwater, when the Sooners and Cowboys meet at 1 p.m.
God came at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church on Odor Street in Arcadia, where he and his brother James, a sophomore guard at Tulsa, grew up going every Sunday.
“When I talk to people, they like having had an impact on their lives because they've known them since they were little,” Petra Woodard, the boys' mother, said. “To see them grow to be respectful young men, Christian young men, humble with all that they've gone through and it would've been so easy to be deterred, but they still remember home and that where they are is about much more than just them, that they're really representing something that's bigger than them.
“They've really honored that.”
Basketball started on a little concrete slab just outside of the back door of the home where Jordan grew up and where his parents still live. Then when the skills of Jordan and James outgrew the concrete patch, they moved their game to the grade school court in town.
That's the same blacktop court where Marcus Woodard, Jordan's father, learned basketball before he went on to play at John Marshall.
“They played with a lot of the older guys because although we're old, we still try to play,” Marcus said. “A lot of the older guys, they played with them and they're proud of them seeing them play now.”
Then there's family.
It's hard to escape family for the Woodards.
When Marcus and Petra Woodard were married, Petra looked out from the porch at Marcus' parents' house and told her husband she wanted to build a house right there.
“When she said that I told her, ‘We're going to get along good together,'” said James Woodard, Marcus' father and Jordan and James' grandfather.
In 1995, the family moved into their new home right where Petra wanted it.
The elder James Woodard has lived in Arcadia all of his life.
“I'll be 74 in March,” he said. “When they brought me home from the hospital, they brought me to Arcadia.”
The family also gets together for dinner after church on Sunday, with Jordan and the younger James joining when they're home from school.
“I know they're proud of me and my brother because we grew up so close to everybody in that town,” Jordan said. “They still keep in touch with us today, through our parents. That's why I think me and my brother keep it so close to us to make sure we represent Arcadia and not matching it with Edmond. No disrespect to Edmond, but I feel like the people of Arcadia ... that's mostly for them to make sure we remember where we came from.”
The Woodards hear about that pride all over town.
The elder James Woodard is on the Arcadia town council.
“I go around and talk to a lot of people, and before I can talk to them about the town, they start talking to me about basketball,” James said. “They're just as proud as I am.”
Ray Traylor has lived down the street from the Woodards for about 35 years. He knew Marcus when he was growing up and watched Jordan and James growing up as well.
“I wished they'd say they were from Arcadia more,” Traylor said of the OU and Tulsa television broadcasts he watches to keep up with the brothers. “I think everybody in Arcadia's proud of them.
“I've known them since they were in grade school, and they always seem to make it their business to be in the right crowd. Arcadia's a small town, but you can still get mixed up with the wrong people. They never did that.”
Gordon Allensworth grew up playing basketball on that blacktop court with Marcus and now follows OU and Tulsa basketball because of the Woodards.
“When they were growing up and we were still playing, they'd come and cheer us on. At the rodeos, they were always helping us out,” Allensworth said. “He (Marcus) raised some good kids. They're just good, well-mannered kids and we love cheering for them.”