| Overall UK Wins: 3 | Overall UK Losses: 3 | Win % 50 |
Date of Birth: November 23, 1899
Date of Death: July 21, 1990
Hometown: Gibson City, IL
Alma Mater: Illinois Wesleyan
For a generalized listing of officials, please consult this page.
|2/5/1945||Kentucky at Michigan State||L||50 - 66||16||17||17||18||1||0||-||Ike Craig and James Barclay|
|1/12/1946||Kentucky at Michigan State||W||55 - 44||21||17||24||24||1||0||-||Ike Craig (Illinois Wesleyan) and Jim Biersdorfer (Cincinnati)|
|2/2/1946||Michigan State at Kentucky||W||59 - 51||26||22||27||26||1||0||-||Jim Biersdorfer (Cincinnati) and Ike Craig (Chicago)|
|12/29/1950||Kentucky vs. St. Louis||L||42 - 43 OT||12||15||18||14||1||1||-||Referee - Dan Tehan and Umpire - Ike Craig|
|2/18/1954||Tennessee at Kentucky||W||90 - 63||27||21||34||37||2||0||-||Ike Craig and Fred Walters|
|1/8/1955||Georgia Tech at Kentucky||L||58 - 59||20||12||20||33||0||0||-||Max Macon and Ike Craig|
Biography - Gibson City (IL) Middle School website
The "Ike" Craig Sportsmanship Award is presented each year to an 8th grade boy's basketball player who exhibits outstanding sportsmanship, as voted on by his teammates. It has been awarded in the Gibson City Middle Schools since 1948. His son, Dr. James Craig, gave the following information.
Mr. Ike Craig was born in LeRoy, Illinois, on November 23, 1899. He went to school in Gibson City. He lost his father, John, when he was 5 and was solely responsible for his own up bringing. This was despite his mothers' re-marriage. He went alone and lived in a barn near Sibley. Ike even had his head shaved because he had lice due to his living conditions. To pay for food, he sang and danced on riverboats near the Mississippi River in order to make money.
He began referring basketball games at the age of 14. He began with the I.E.S.A. "lightweights". He would work 4 games for a $.25. After graduation from Drummer Township High School, he completed 2 years of college and worked a variety of jobs. Not having enough money to complete college, he worked in sporting goods and continued refereeing. His love was athletics, especially basketball and football. He began with high school and quickly moved to the collegiate level. He received an award for refereeing the most N.A.I.A. tournaments. He continued to referee in the Missouri Valley Conference, Big Ten, N.B.A., even in the Sugar Bowl.
Mr. Craig made many friends in his years as a referee. Two of the most famous were George Halas and Abe Saperstein. Craig refereed Decatur Staley games. The Staleys went on to become the Chicago Bears. Halas tried to get Mr. Craig to referee in the newly formed NFL. Saperstein tried unsuccessfully to hire Ike as a trick ref for his basketball team, The Harlem Globetrotters. Mr. Craig declined both offers because of his fear of flying. His fear came from being on a plane that the engine caught fire and another that blew up on the runway after his exit from the plane.
Mr. Craig taught his sons, James and Robert to work hard at everything they undertook and "not to take a lazy man's load". He passed away a year after his wife Ann on July 21, 1990. Mr. Craig had great admiration for the people of Gibson City and was a very generous person. He enjoyed helping people of all ages in the world of sports. His sons recall him mentioning several of his acquaintances from his Gibson City days: Bud Barrow, Raymond Gill, and Waldo Roth were a few.
Mr. Craig was a very private person and seldom spoke of his deeds. His sons only learned of this special award named after their father by chance on the internet in 2006. Their interest in the award and donation will ensure that this honor will continue for the foreseeable future. GCMS Middle School would like to thank Dr. James Craig and Mr. Robert Craig for their information and donation.