July 21, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Members of Alabama's defending NCAA Champion gymnastics team took time out from summer school and their busy schedules to lend a hand in the community this week when more than a dozen members of the Tide program - gymnasts, managers and coaches - took part in a Habitat for Humanity work day.
"It was pretty amazing," All-American Ashley Sledge said. "This wasn't just a temporary shelter we were helping build, it's an actual home for a family, a place where they can live for a very long time. It was really nice to be a part of that."
In addition to moving supplies and equipment into place, "Team Alabama" also donned work gloves, a nail apron and grabbed their hammer, helping nail plywood sheeting to the frame of the house.
"I'd never swung a hammer before, and I wasn't very good to start," Sledge said. "But by the end, I'd gotten a lot better. We all had a couple of missed swings, but after awhile we all kind of got the idea. It was a really great experience. I was looking forward to it for quite a while."
All-Americans Sarah DeMeo, Ashley Priess, Diandra Milliner, Ashley Sledge and Kim Jacob as well as Becca Alexin and Olivia Carisella all swung their hammers in a steady rhythm for the cause. A trio of Tide rookies, Lora Leigh Frost, Brooke Parker and Kayla Williams, who are getting a jump on their freshman year by taking summer classes, were also in the mix, driving nails in place.