Student athletes completed a Habitat for Humanity home build project
Clemson Athletics and Pickens County Habitat for Humanity teamed up to construct a home build project in the city of Clemson. Three hundred and thirty student athletes logged over 1200 hours to build the home from scratch and were present from day one to the day of the house’s dedication on January 16th. The project took over a year to complete.
Funded in part by IPTAY and the Nieri Family Student-Athletics Enrichment Center, the home build was completed by student athletes representing all of Clemson’s athletic programs, making this the first time Clemson athletes have built a Habitat house from start to finish.
Weather conditions posed the most serious challenge for the group. Some days it was freezing; other days it rained and turned the ground to mud, forcing the volunteers to lay down tarps before they could continue to work on the foundation. Their tireless efforts resulted in a three-bedroom house — where Tabitha Good and her family now live.
Many student athletes had the opportunity to work alongside the Good family, including former men’s track and field runner Darron Coley.
“I knew they were coming from a rough situation, I knew about the time and energy they put in, and I knew that they worked hard to get their house,” said Coley. “Knowing that I made an impact, no matter how small, was really great.”
The student athletes who participated appreciated the chance to not only bond with their fellow classmates but also pitch in for the greater community. The project provided ample time to reflect.
“The little things we do can actually be a lot bigger than us,” said Maura Chozick, a senior on the women’s rowing team. “Putting in a couple nails, having fun with my friends, hammering some things turned into a house.”
Several coaches and faculty members were also able to work on the build with their students. Women’s soccer coach Eddie Radwanski was thankful for the opportunity to contribute meaningful work alongside his students.
“All of our student athletes, they all come from different backgrounds; they have different stories. I think these moments provide great perspective,” he said. “Obviously there are things that you can talk about as a coach: You can try to educate or give a life lesson to somebody. But in moments like these, no words are really needed.”