Nick and Terry Saban were at a just-finished Habitat for Humanity house Wednesday morning to welcome its new owners to the 21st such home they have sponsored since moving to Tuscaloosa.

After the April 27th, 2011 tornado destroyed so much of the city, the Sabans and their Nick's Kids Foundation pledged to sponsor the construction of a Habitat home for every national championship the football program had ever won.

With Saban adding generously to that number during his tenure as head coach, they've now built homes for 18 national championships plus homes for the Bama's 2021 SEC Championship over Georgia and their 2022 Sugar Bowl victory.

This 21st house to honor the 2023 team's SEC Championship is called the LANK House after the team's motto. The house is part of the rapidly growing Milestone neighborhood, a transformative partnership between Habitat and the Builders Group to build dozens of affordable homes on unused land in west Tuscaloosa.

Both Sabans were on site Wednesday morning to welcome University of Alabama graduate Jinaka Chambers and her 5th-grade son Landon into their new home.

"I think everybody probably knows what LANK stands for - Let All Naysayers Know. That was kind of our team motto. I happened to say that in a team meeting after we didn't play so well early in the season and the players kind of responded to it," Nick Saban said Wednesday. "But I think this symbolizes - Let all naysayers know how much we can all do to help other people and have compassion for other people and help their quality of life. That's something that we've always tried to do in Nick's Kids and we certainly are proud of what everybody's done to make this happen for Miss Chambers and Landon."

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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Chambers, who works at the city's Mercedes Benz Amphitheater downtown, said she's a huge Alabama fan and particularly fond of Saban - they both came to Alabama in 2007 and share an October birthday.

"If you know me, you know I love me some Coach Saban," Chambers said. "I don't play about my coach."

She Landon is also a huge fan and once vowed never to shower again after the head coach clasped his shoulder at a Nick's Kids event last year.

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

Chambers contributed more than 250 hours of volunteer time on her home and will purchase it at fair market value through a 30-year, 0% interest mortgage held by Habitat Tuscaloosa.

The Sabans also did their share of work on the home - the Sabans and a group of football players worked there last month and Mrs. Terry and a group of coaches' wives also spent a day landscaping.

Ellen Potts, the executive director at Habitat Tuscaloosa, announced that the organization will dedicate two future homes to honor the Sabans - a Legacy House for Nick and a Women's Build for Mrs. Terry.

"We've been doing all of these wonderful things to honor your teams, but now it's your turn and we need to honor you," Potts said. "Give us a dedication date in October, November or December and we'll work backward from there! We'll have the houses ready to go."

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

The proactive recruitment efforts of the Sabans and the merit of the Habitat mission invite many collaborators, and this was no exception. Potts thanked partner after partner during the dedication ceremony.


"Wheat’s Carpet One donated and installed the flooring, and Premier Service Company, in partnership with students and instructors from Skilled Trades of West Alabama, donated the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC system," Habitat summarized in a press release. "During the last week of February, construction students from the Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy put their carpentry skills into action as they framed the house. Twelfth graders from Seven Rivers Christian School also helped frame. For the last twelve years, students from this Lecanto, FL school have spent part of their senior trips working with Habitat Tuscaloosa."

"As with the other 20 Nick’s Kids Houses, the non-profit High Socks for Hope will provide beautiful, new furniture for the home, including an Alabama football-themed bedroom for Landon."

For more coverage of Habitat's ongoing Operation Transformation to build 100 new affordable homes before the end of the decade, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

Top Stories from the Tuscaloosa Thread (4/22 - 4/29)

12 of the Top Stories published by the Tuscaloosa Thread during the 18th week of 2024, including a deadly police shooting and major news about the old McFarland Mall.

Gallery Credit: (Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)


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