Ole Miss Tennis decided to make a brave move and reach the next level in terms of their facilities, starting a $11 million indoor facility that will be located southeast of the Olivia and Archie Manning Athletic Performance Center on Manning Way. The complex with 6 indoor courts for training and matches should be over before the start of the spring season, and it just received a huge boost when Louis and Lucia Brandt of Houston donated $300,000. Louis is a former tennis player at Ole Miss and he has been in the tennis world for more than 70 years. He grew up at University of Mississippi campus here in Oxford and his first tennis steps are linked with this place. Knowing all that, it was an easy decision for him to make this generous gift and help his beloved Rebels to start the construction in a strong manner, and once it is completed, this will be one of the best indoor tennis facilities in the entire country.
“Athletics has always been part of my life,” Brandt said. “Through college athletics, people are brought back to campus and are able to stay connected. That’s extremely important to a university. The location of the new center is perfect, and the project will be an outstanding addition among Southeastern Conference facilities. I love the sport of tennis because it is one you can play all of your life. It is both physically and mentally challenging, tennis equipment is inexpensive, and there are a lot of courts available, especially in Oxford. In fact, since 2014, there is even a new club in town. I partnered with two others to create The Goose Creek Club, a family-oriented tennis, fitness and swim club offering the only clay courts between Memphis and Jackson. There was no tennis instruction in Oxford so my friends and I learned by watching the Ole Miss team members who primarily came from towns where they had the luxury of tennis instruction during high school. When I was around 14, I taught myself to string rackets. I purchased equipment from the Sears Roebuck catalog and, after destroying several rackets, became brave enough to put up a sign at the university advertising my services. People responded, and I began to string rackets for college students and eventually for some members of the tennis team.“