Indiana Fever lends hands to Habitat for Humanity

By Sam Rogian

INDIANAPOLIS (June 9, 2011)—Indiana Fever fans are accustomed to seeing players hustle and hit the boards at Conseco Fieldhouse.

They were banging different boards Wednesday afternoon.

Players and members of the Fever’s community relations staff volunteered several hours at the Indianapolis Habitat for Humanity ReStore center, constructing parts for future home builds.

“As part of WNBA Cares’ ‘Week of Service’, we usually do a Habitat (for Humanity) build or we help prepare for future builds,” said Bobbi Courtright, community-relations director for the Indiana Fever. “Every year we do this, so it’s part of our community service with WNBA Cares to lead, to inspire, and to create positive change.”

Teammates Jessica Davenport, Shannon Bobbitt, Shavonte Zellous and rookie Jeanette Pohlen labored for two hours in heat and humidity at Habitat for Humanity’s warehouse on the near north side of Indianapolis.

Don Pedigo, Habitat for Humanity construction superintendent, was grateful for the hard work, which included building headers and wall leads.

“They’re getting parts ready that… will go out for a panel build, which we will do at (a volunteer) companies’ location, in their parking lot,” he said. “(They’ll) actually build the panels of our houses.

“It takes a lot of physical effort, but it is… going to be components for a house that we’re actually going to build starting at the end of this month.”

Pedigo said the non-profit organization responsible for placing under-privileged families in new homes depends on volunteers like the Fever to be successful.

“They’re essential,” he said. “That’s the core of Habitat. We couldn’t do it without them. (We) greatly appreciate their help. They come out here on their own time, but they are the lifeblood of Habitat.

“Without the volunteers, there would be no Habitat.”

Davenport, along with her teammates, was happy to give back.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s great because we’re blessed to have the opportunity to come out here and help.

“Through basketball, we’ve been given a lot, and to come out here and help the community, it’s great.”