Community Celebrates First NCCAA National Title

CIRCLEVILLE - The Ohio Christian University men's basketball team was honored with a parade and official city and county proclamations on Tuesday for their NCCAA national championship win on March 9th in Springfield, Mo.

The team went 22-0 in their division, winning their first-ever national championship.

"This is a special day for our community," said Dr. Mark Smith, president of OCU. "Some things you have to start and they'll grow with time, but this is the first-ever national championship right here in Circleville."

Smith applauded the group for their teamwork.

"Not one of these guys could have delivered it," he said. "It took all of them. But they also had outstanding coaching from coach Tony Stockman and Jamey Batten."

Mayor Don McIlroy proclaimed Tuesday as Ohio Christian University Men's Basketball 2013 NCCAA National Championship Day in the city, and the Pickaway County Commissioners delivered a proclamation that was passed as a resolution at their last meeting.

"I'm a coach's son," said Brian Stewart, county commissioner. "We saw an awful lot of great players who never went on to be college basketball players. We saw an awful lot of great teams that never went on and became champions, so the accomplishment here is really significant. The county's proud of you."

Following the official honors, head coach Tony Stockman expressed his appreciation to the city, county and team.

"We appreciate you guys coming out and celebrating with us," Stockman said. "I want to thank the commissioners and the mayor for putting this together. I want to thank the players - I mean, they did it. They worked really hard, and their hard work paid off."