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NCAA AND WBCA join Habitat for Humanity to build home in memory of former Louisiana State University Women’s basketball coach

Through an online auction, NCAA and WBCA will help to raise funds through an auction to build a simple, decent home in the Gulf Coast. The Habitat house will be in memory of Sue Gunter, the former Louisiana State University Women’s basketball coach. The house will be framed in Knoxville, Tenn., and shipped to Baton Rouge, La.

BOSTON—The NCAA and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today they will partner to build an Operation Home Delivery “Habitat home in a box” in Knoxville, Tennessee, during the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction weekend on Saturday, April 29. The “Habitat home in a box” build will be dedicated to Sue Gunter, former Louisiana State University Women’s Basketball Coach.

The home will be fully framed in Knoxville on April 29. Final construction of the home will take place in Baton Rouge, home of Louisiana State University, in May and June, in conjunction with a 14-home Habitat building blitz.

“We are pleased to partner with the NCAA and Habitat for Humanity to rebuild homes and lives in the Gulf Coast region,” said Beth Bass, chief executive officer of the WBCA. “Sue Gunter was a special member of the women’s basketball family. It is only appropriate that we honor her memory in both Knoxville and Baton Rouge by providing a fresh start for a family in need.”

In addition to the Knoxville build, the WBCA and the NCAA have partnered to provide exclusive autographed basketballs for an online auction. Four commemorative silver anniversary basketballs signed by the Women’s Final Four coaches and one commemorative silver anniversary basketball signed by the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball 25th Anniversary Team will be auctioned online. All proceeds from the auction will benefit Habitat for Humanity International and the local Boston Habitat for Humanity affiliate. Bids for the autographed basketballs are now being accepted online at http://auctions.ncaasports.com. The auction will close in June.

“From the beginning, the WBCA pledged resources to the NCAA’s ‘Home Team’ partnership,” said Sue Donohoe, NCAA vice-president for Division I Women’s Basketball. “This initiative by the women’s basketball coaches’ community embraces the spirit of women’s basketball and is another example of the community outreach efforts that the women’s basketball community is committed to.”

The project is the latest development in a three-year “Home Team” partnership between Habitat for Humanity and the NCAA that began in September with a $1 million lead gift from Division II and a $500,000 matching gift from the Association and the national office. In January, the Association leadership donated an additional $1 million for a total of $2.5 million. The partnership will provide donations through additional fundraising and volunteers for the long-term rebuilding effort on the Gulf Coast following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

“This partnership is incredibly important to Habitat for Humanity because of the many resources the NCAA offers,” said Chris Clarke, senior vice president of Habitat for Humanity International. “The NCAA brings much needed funding and volunteers to address the needs of families displaced by the hurricanes. They also reach out to America’s youth and encourage them to make a difference. Best of all, they will carry that message over the next three years,” Clarke said.

A similar “Habitat home in a box” build occurred in Chattanooga, Tenn., at the Division I-AA Football Championships in December and in Indianapolis at the Division II Swimming and Diving Championships in March. During the Men’s Final Four April 1-3, three Habitat “Houses in a box” were constructed outside the NCAA National Office; a fourth house will be built in Indianapolis at a later date. A build is also being planned in conjunction with the College World Series.

About Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than one million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.