EDMOND — For as long as they've been playing basketball, James and Jordan Woodard have virtually always been on the same team.
Only for a couple of years, when Jordan was in eighth and ninth grade, were the brothers not teammates.
And though nothing is certain in the future, it's possible that they've played their last game together — that being Edmond Memorial's state championship loss to Tulsa Union last month.
But for James Woodard, The Oklahoman's Big All-City Player of the Year, the joy of sharing the court with his little brother is a feeling he'll always remember.
“I've been playing basketball with him all my life,” James said. “Playing with him and winning a championship last year, then getting to the championship game again was a lot of fun.
“We've always been used to playing with each other. It's just natural for us out there. I know what he's gonna do. He knows what I'm gonna do. We have that bond and that chemistry.”
That chemistry meant even more to Jordan when he joined the varsity before the 2010-11 season.
“When I first started practicing with varsity, James was the only one I was comfortable with,” Jordan said. “I always wanted him on my team. It was easy for me to come in and play with him.”
Despite being brothers, James is a different type of player than Jordan.
At 6-foot-3, James has a long body that helps him to be a versatile defender and strong rebounder. A complete player, James found a variety of ways to impact the game, whether he was scoring or not.
He finished the season with an average of 14.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in leading the Bulldogs through a two-loss season.
“Obviously, I'm gonna miss it if that was our last game together,” Jordan said. “That was his last chance in high school to get a gold ball. But I felt like it was a successful season. We helped each other achieve a lot. We both bettered ourselves individually, and it's gonna help us going forward with our careers.”
Parents Marcus and Petra Woodard enjoyed seeing their boys on the court together as well.
“It was a lot of fun watching them, the chemistry they have, and see that they can actually be a team and be brothers as part of a team,” Petra said. “Watching them mature like that was fun to watch.
“I'm proudest of seeing them grow into good, grounded, solid young men.”
Added Marcus: “We're just proud parents. They just love the game, and we love watching them play.”