Derick Hall

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Ninety-nine percent – that’s how sure the doctors at Gulfport Memorial Hospital were sure that newborn Derick Hall would not make it through his first night – 99%. But Stacy Gooden-Crandle, Derick Hall’s Mother, held on to that one % - and she prayed. So did her village of family and friends. They fought for Derick because he was too tiny, too weak – too extremely premature… Normally when the 1% is mentioned, it’s a good thing! The crème de la crème – but sometimes – in this case, it was anything but good. Stacy was a young mother facing impossible odds. Born at just 23 ½ weeks, weighing 2 lbs. 9 oz., Derick’s village fought for him – until he could fight for himself. In the days and weeks following his birth, doctors moved 99% against – the odds of Derick surviving at all – then to him walking or talking or living a normal life.


At each milestone, Stacy prayed and worked and made sure Derick had all the love and care he needed to overcome impossible odds. An energetic but asthmatic child, Stacy enrolled Derick in flag football at four years old to help him develop his lungs and help him run some of his energy out. However, what emerged was his natural athletic ability, and he soon moved to contact football. In high school, Derick lettered in three sports – football, basketball, and track – and his finishes in the 100 and 200-meter relays, 300-meter hurdles, and long jump still stand as record-setting, top 10 best times at Gulfport Highschool. He was rated a 4-star football recruit by ESPN and earned a 4-star grade by 247 Sports, and was the first ever Under Armor All-American in Gulfport High School’s history).


Derick earned a scholarship to Auburn University and was a three-year starter and standout Linebacker and Edge Rusher in the SEC, named to the all-SEC team in ’21 and ’22. His on-the-field work is impressive, but he’s also been recognized for his off-the-field work. In 2022, when hometown neighbors in Jackson, MS, suffered a water main break and drinking water was scarce, Derick used his name, image, and likeness (NIL) earnings at Auburn University to help send five 18-wheelers filled with water, food, and supplies to Jackson.


Subsequently, Derick was named a 2022 Jason Witten Man of the Year semifinalist and the winner of the National Freddie Solomon Community Spirit Award in 2022. However, he didn’t do it for the awards – he did it for his village. Stacy attributes God’s grace to Derick’s survival at all – and his ability to thrive as an athlete and his unerring desire to help those in need.


Today, Derick continues to defy the naysayers, and he continues to win. A rookie with the Seattle Seahawks, it’s not lost on him that now the pendulum has swung the other way, and he’s one of the crème de la crème. Only 1% of college athletes go on to play professional sports. He’s grateful and determined to give back to the village that supported him.


Stacy is known by her family and friends as a firecracker! She knew at a very young age that although she wanted to go to college, due to struggles in her home, she’d have to somehow earn a scholarship to make her dream a reality. Her natural talents and highly competitive spirit drew her to the band, where she mastered the Baritone and worked hard to keep ‘first chair status.’ (First chair musicians are rewarded for their talent and recognized as leaders in their section). Her hard work paid off - she earned a band scholarship and is now a licensed social worker.


Together, Mother and Son have launched the Derick Hall One Percent Foundation and will focus on supporting the following:


  • Premature Babies and their families – Provide services and therapies to ensure a smooth transition from hospital to home, as well as resources like car seats for premature babies (which cost 3xs more than full-term baby car seats).
  • Food Insecurity – Annually, Derick has provided 300 families with a Thanksgiving meal, feeding on average 1,200.
  • Childhood Obesity – Underserved communities having access to fresh whole foods, as well as physical activity, is important for healthy, thriving communities.
  • Naturally, Derick gets his desire to give back from his mother. Growing up, he witnessed first-hand – her strength and tenacity in fighting for her clients at the Salvation Army – and how that fight continued after work hours. They know that so many people need help, and they’re determined to make a difference – they are hoping that others will follow and increase the size of their village.

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