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.
Q: What did you do for fun growing up?
A: We'd take our four-wheelers and drive them around town and hit the back roads. You get on that four-wheeler and just get after it. I'd drive it from Stringtown to Atoka and back. Before I was old enough to do that we'd ride our bikes to Atoka and back. That's seven miles.
Q: Your future father-in-law is an avid OSU fan. How rewarding was it to win your final Bedlam game?
A: If I had lost that one I would have had to hear about it the rest of my life. I wanted to do everything I could to pull that one out.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: I love cars, old cars. When I was in high school I did some stuff in vo-tech. When I get a little older I'd love to get some old cars and fix them up. My dad had a '75 Nova. I fell in love with that car. When he ended up selling it I was crushed. Now he has a '72 Cutlass that has the original 8-track (player) in it. Cars and basketball are my favorite two things.
Q: What are your plans after this season?
A: When I first got here I wanted to become a coach. Right now, I'm contemplating getting a job and then going to grad school. I don't know if I'll go right off the bat because I need to find a way to make my child support payments. I'm not getting behind on that. I might take a year off and come back to grad school, possibly go into athletic administration.