The new home of Ole Miss basketball opened just over a year ago, but when Ole Miss took on Baylor last Saturday, it became the first game played on Craddock Court.
Craddock Oil Company was founded in 1979 by Ron and Nancy Craddock, and the business is now run by their two sons, Ole Miss alums Ben and David. Now that the court bears their families name, it has given them a moment they’ll never forget.
“To be able to do something for the school that we love was a surreal moment,” Ben said.“Seeing the name on the court was neat, but just seeing the smile on my parents face made it worth the two years of trying to get this done. It was a magical moment… something that you take in and hold onto for life.”
Ben and David have been connected to the area since they were both students at Ole Miss. David graduated in 1993, and Ben became a 3-year letterman on the Ole Miss football team and graduated in 2001. The brothers had been waiting for the right opportunity to bring their business to Oxford, and they did just that four years ago. The Craddocks own and operate the Exxon on Highway 6 and the Krystal right next door.
This isn’t the first sponsorship that the Craddocks have been a part of around town. With a successful daily podcast as a part of rivals.com as well as sponsorship of FCA breakfasts, the Craddocks have quickly become a household name around Oxford.
“We have so many memories in Oxford, and it’s been so nice to give back to the town, the city, and the university. Trying to get involved in things we believe in was really important to us. What we stand for is to try and help and give back to others, and that was instilled in us at a very young age,” Ben said.
The Ole Miss women’s team gave the court its first win with a victory over Georgia, and the men followed up with a 27-point victory over Mississippi State on Tuesday. Craddock was able to speak with both Coach Insell and Coach Kennedy after the victories and was proud to be a part of the program.
“This is everyone’s court. Our name may be on it, but it’s for Ole Miss, the students, the coaches and the kids in these programs. It made us so happy because they truly appreciate the investment that we’re making to the university and to the program,” Craddock said. “We’re behind our school no matter what. We’ll always be Ole Miss Rebels, and we’re always going to try and give back however we can.”
Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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