Magic hit the hardwoods, with a hammer, not ball

The Lakeland Magic spread out throughout Polk last week to help at several Habitat for Humanity build sites including this one in Lake Wales.

If they aren't already, the McBride family of Lake Wales is likely to become pretty big basketball fans. And soon, too.

They won't have to look far to find a team to root for – the Lakeland Magic will be starting their second season in the NBA's G-League nest month.

And that would make perfect sense because the Magic are already rooting for them.

Members of the team and their front office fanned out across Polk County last week, exchanging hook shots for hammers to help out East Polk Habitat for Humanity. The McBrides are getting a home in Lake Wales, and there are two current projects ongoing in Fort Meade, where the Magic also sent construction teams to help out.

“Lakeland Magic Day of Service provides the opportunity to make an impact on the community with service projects at five different locations all on one day,” noted team president Shelly Wilkes. “As an organization, homelessness is a key area of focus and this is our second year being involved with Habitat for Humanity.”

The East Polk Habitat scoreboard is now over 150 homes. Families selected for the program must put in plenty of sweat equity – something Magic players know a thing or two about as well – on helping build other homes before the first nail is ever driven on theirs.

The McBrides are building on Grove Street, a three-bedroom, one bath house. Earlier in September more athletes, these from the Webber International softball program, spent a day on site swinging away as well. Volunteers are welcome every Thursday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon until the McBrides move in.

In Fort Meade, the current projects are at 20 4th Street NW (four bedroom, two bath) and the other is right next door, a three-bedroom, one bath house. There are also current builds underway in Auburndale and Haines City.

Volunteers on any project can sign up by calling 863-292-2256.

“We are honored to be able to play even just a small role providing a family with a home that will help them achieve the strength, stability, and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and their families,” Wilkes added.

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