Northeast Tarrant

Hoops to hammers

Caleb Ritenour, Colleyville Heritage Basketball player, spent Saturday morning with some of his teammates putting up boards instead of crashing them.

Ritenour, 17, and about a dozen other Grapevine-Colleyville school district athletes helped build a house on Greenle Street in East Fort Worth. The endeavor was part of Trinity Habitat for Humanity’s Jimmy Carter Work Project.

“I know God has gifted me with a bunch of blessings and I'd like to share them,” Ritenour said.

The teenagers wore clothes they normally would sport at practice or the gym, T-shirts, basketball shorts, athletic socks and shoes but also wore hard hats and tool belts as they carried lumber and nailed in boards to the house’s frame.

Some of the teens early into the day’s work already were calling Colleyville Heritage senior J.D. Stumpf the most valuable player.

Stumpf got right to work, even though the closest thing he’s done to building a home is painting one. He said although the sun was beating down, he preferred the labor over practice.

“I’d rather be doing this,” he said taking a break from almost an hour of hammering nails. “At least I’m giving back.”

Stephen Hamrick, the head men’s basketball coach at Colleyville Heritage, said he was proud of the boys’ hustle and the hard work gave him ideas for the upcoming Panther-Maker condition camp.

“This shows that we’re bigger than basketball,” he said. “It’s about service.”

Some of the volunteers were part of a service group Ritenour founded called Hoops 4 Hope.

Matthew LaGrange is a member of the organization and was on hand for the home building. As he watched the boys all doing their part to help someone that lives 20 minutes away, he was impressed.

“It’s great to see this generation do something a lot of people say they won’t,” he said.