By Jennifer Van TuylBig 12 Campus Correspondent
Known as a place of western hospitality, Elk City, Okla., is home to the National Route 66 Museum. The small country town of about 11,000 people is also home to the world’s largest non-operating on-site drilling rig. But to University of Oklahoma basketball fans for the past three years, it has been known as the home of Cade Davis.
Davis, a 6-5, 199-pound junior guard for the Sooners, has turned heads across the state with his sharp-shooting ability and passionate play. He is among the team’s leaders in 3-pointers and paces the squad in steals. Against Northern Colorado Dec. 19, he scored 25 points—20 in the first half when he made six 3-pointers. Davis traces his love for the game—and a lot of his success—back to his roots in hoops hungry Elk City.
“We like all our sports out there but I would say Elk City is predominantly a basketball town,” said Davis. “We have the (AAU) Bi-State Shootout every year. A lot of teams from different states and even local teams from Oklahoma City play in it and get a lot of good competition.”
A basketball was in Davis’ hands at an early age. But while he honed his skills on the court, Davis was also a regular at the rodeo. He competed in calf roping on numerous occasions and spent time traveling to rodeos to watch his dad compete.
Rodeos and basketball may not seem to go hand in hand, but for Davis, watching his father compete taught him a valuable lesson about hard work that sticks with him to this day.
“Calf roping is just like playing basketball,” reasoned Davis. “You have to practice, practice, practice. If things weren’t going well for my dad, he would go out and rope 100 calves a night and make sure he got it down before he went to bed. If things aren’t going well for me, I go to the gym, shoot some shots and make sure everything is how it needs to be.”
Above all, Davis’ success stems from his family. He believes the opportunity his parents gave him to play and to be in a place like Elk City helped him excel. More importantly, his mom and dad instilled in him the values of always doing the best he could and never giving up.
Teammate and roommate Beau Gerber said one of Davis’ best qualities is working hard and contributing to his team in any way possible.
“He is willing to do whatever Coach (Jeff Capel) asks of him,” said Gerber. “He knows that he might not have to score a bunch, but he can play defense and contribute that way. Just like when he defended Rotnei Clarke in the Arkansas game. He took that on and didn’t let him score.”
The sharp-shooting Clarke entered the Dec. 2 game averaging 26.7 points and 5.8 3-point makes a contest for the Razorbacks. Davis held him to 11 points on 1-for-6 shooting behind the arc.
Although now slightly removed from Elk City, sometimes Davis’ country characteristics still shine through. Gerber said although Davis doesn’t wear cowboy boots and plaid shirts, his accent and love for country music give away his rural upbringing.
True to his spirit, Davis always remembers where he is from and says nothing makes him more proud than to represent western Oklahoma. One of few Elk City products to play college basketball, Davis takes it upon himself to play hard and make everyone back home proud. Hearing his hometown announced during starting lineups is as a sweet as hearing his shot swish through the net.
“That puts a huge smile on my face,” said Davis. “I know there are some people from western Oklahoma watching, and hearing their cheers makes me very humbled and excited at the same time. Hopefully, I have made them proud.”