100 YEARS HEROES: Catching Up With Coolidge Ball
As part of this season's celebration of the First 100 years of Ole Miss Basketball, OleMissSports.com will be featuring stories and exclusive content throughout the year that look back on some of the great moments, teams and players of the past. The celebration will culminate with the public introduction of the All-Century Team at Saturday's Georgia game.
Coolidge Ball's ground-breaking career saw him become Ole Miss’ first black student-athlete in 1970. He garnered All-SEC honors in all three of his varsity seasons and went on to play professionally and later coach at Northwest Community College. Today, Ball is still making his mark in Oxford, literally, as he discusses in the following Q&A.
Q: What are you doing these days?
A: I live here in Oxford. I own my own sign company, so I’m running my own business in Oxford.
Q: What made you settle down in Oxford?
A: I met my wife while I was in college, and she is a native of Lafayette County. This is just a great place to be, and I didn’t want to get too far away it, so that is why I am still here.
Q: What are some of your favorites memories about playing ball at Ole Miss?
A: Some of my favorite memories would have to be defeating Kentucky in 1973. We were the first team since 1939 to beat the University of Kentucky, and we also had three winning seasons while I was here too. So I cherish those moments. Also, being voted most valuable player by my teammates. I was the first minority scholarship player, so that is something very special to me.
Q: Are you still an Ole Miss fan today?
A: Absolutely. I will always be an Ole Miss fan.
Q: How has your experience and education at Ole Miss helped you today?
A: Just through the people that I have met while I was here, my teammates and just basketball in general. It taught me to be disciplined, have self-control and things like that play a big part of it.
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