Sept. 13, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — It was a team-building experience for a greater cause Thursday when the University of Iowa women’s basketball team took part in Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build in honor of Dr. Christine Grant.
“The build was a great time as a team, but it was also something bigger than any of us could imagine,” said freshman Alexa Kastanek. “Building a house is something none of us thought we could do, but we did it to the best of our abilities and it made us that much better as people and a team.”
For the Hawkeyes, the build served as another team-building opportunity and a meaningful way to give back while honoring an individual who has paved the way for female student-athletes throughout the world.
“Dr. Christine Grant is an amazing woman who has inspired us all,” said senior Theairra Taylor. “It is an honor to be a part of the Habitat for Humanity Project in her honor. It was tough work, but we had an amazing time.”
“Dr. Christine Grant is an amazing woman who has inspired us all. It is an honor to be a part of the Habitat for Humanity Project in her honor. It was tough work, but we had an amazing time.”
— UI senior Theairra Taylor
“The build was a great chance to give back to the Iowa City community and honor Dr. Christine Grant,” said freshman Ally Disterhoft. “When you get all of us together, it is always a great time. We were a little out of our element with the nails, hammers, and hard hats, but it was a great way to spend the morning, and we had a lot of fun.”
A pioneer in intercollegiate athletics in the United States, Grant became the first women’s athletics director at the University of Iowa in 1973. In her 27 years at the helm of a separate Women’s Athletic Department, Grant helped coaches develop highly competitive teams at the national level and at the conference level where they won 27 Big Ten Conference titles.
Grant has earned national acclaim for her dedication to gender equity in athletics. She has testified on Title IX and Gender Equity before several U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittees and has served as an expert witness in many Title IX lawsuits. She served as President of both the AIAW and the NACWAA. In 2007, Grant received the NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award, which honors an individual who has provided significant leadership as an advocate for intercollegiate athletics on a continuous basis over the course of their career.
“We had an awesome morning helping with the Dr. Christine Grant Habitat for Humanity Women Build,” said director of basketball operations Abby Emmert. “It was a great chance to step away from the hardwood and give back to our community. We got a lot done and had a ton of fun working together on such an important project.”
Two weeks ago, the Hawkeyes worked on team building exercises while completing the “The Program’s Judgment Day.” Yesterday, Iowa put those exercises into motion, helping build a home while continuing to build its team.
“We always love the opportunity to come out and give back to our community,” said sophomore Claire Till. “It was fun to switch roles from a basketball player to a carpenter for a few hours. We hammered nails, used power tools, and even put up a roof. It was a very successful day for the Hawkeyes.”