On Saturday, September 24, 2011, the Spring Hill College men's basketball team volunteered with Mobile's Habitat for Humanity to help build a house in the in the Hillsdale community. With hard hats, goggles, gloves and determination, the Badgers set out to make a difference.
Believing in the need to reach out to communities outside of the "Badger Nation," Head Coach Robert Thompson is encouraging his athletes to be leaders on and off the court. Thompson said, "We have set a goal to become visible in the community as an extension of the SHC community."
This is the third year that the team has participated in the program and each year it brings gratification to the young men participating. Senior Tyler Schwab of Panama City, Fla., has directly experienced what it has done for the team as a whole. "It brings the team closer together and allows us to bond," he says. "We get a chance as a team to work on something greater than ourselves. It also just feels good to give back to the community."
Even first year participants including freshman Jake Thelen of Edgewood, Ky., recognized the impact that the program has on the team. "We all gained something from the experience," he said. "It's always a good feeling knowing you are helping someone. It unites us as a team."
"There are a lot of families out there that do not have houses and certain necessities. It makes me feel good that I can give back because I have been blessed with so many things in my life," said Schwab.
Thompson enjoys working with Habitat for Humanity because it builds camaraderie and improves relationships among his players. He even brought his own two children to participate in the program in order to stress the importance of community to his family. "There are 19 of these young men and they all feel like family," he said.