Stringtown, a community of 500 people in southern Oklahoma, has produced country music legend Reba McEntire, former Kansas City Royals shortstop U.L. Washington and current Big 12 basketball players C.J. Washington (Oklahoma) and Tyrus McGee (Iowa State).
Washington, a reserve power forward, is the only senior in coach Lon Kruger's rotation and one of three seniors that will be honored Saturday afternoon. Washington helped lead Stringtown to the 2007 Class B state championship. He was a junior college All-American at Connors State before signing with OU.
Q: How will you look back on your career at OU?
A: Coming from the smallest class, Class B, to the biggest school in the state, I think about it a lot. When all those fans came from Stringtown when we played Iowa State (last month) put it in perspective for me. I got support from almost my whole town. It's been a (fun) trip. It's a blessing to be able to play here.
Q: How close were you to playing at ORU before the Sooners offered?
A: It was pretty close. If Murray State was closer I might have signed with them, but it was nine hours away from home, nine hours away from my son (who lives in Pratt, Kan.). If it wasn't for my son I'd probably have ended up going there. ORU was right up there, too. The issue I had with ORU is you had to stay in the dorms. I was like, “I'm 21 years old. I'm not living in a dorm,” although they were trying to work something out for me to stay in an apartment. That's about the time they offered me to come here.
Q: How small is Stringtown?
A: Real small. No red lights or stop signs, two gas stations and a casino. That's about it. I was born in McAlester and lived in Stringtown my entire life. Me and my three sisters walked to school most of our lives. My junior year, we moved out a little and had to drive.