March 4, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee senior Taber Spani has been named to the SEC Women's Basketball Community Service Team, the league office announced Monday.
In a continuing effort to recognize the accomplishments of student-athletes beyond the field of competition, the SEC once again highlighted a Community Service Team for women's basketball for the 2012-13 season. This marks the 15th year for the SEC Community Service Team for women's basketball as well as for men's basketball.
All league-sponsored sports have had a Community Service Team since 2004, with at-large teams for men's and women's sports being chosen from 1999-2003. The SEC began this concept with a football Community Service Team in 1994.
Spani, a 6-1 guard/forward from Lee's Summit, Mo., is averaging a career-best 10.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game for the ninth-ranked Lady Vols (23-6/14-2 SEC). She is shooting 43.4% from the field, including 35.2% on three-pointers, and is hitting at an 84.9% clip at the free throw line.
It's the off-the-court work, however, that Spani is being recognized for in this case.
The graduate student is active with Habitat for Humanity, participating in building blitzes on multiple occasions and offering prayers of dedication during ceremonies where the new owners take possession of the house. She has participated annually in the Hoops for Hope event where children with Down Syndrome enjoy a special day of basketball games, supported, coached and cheered by their heroes and heroines.
She's made frequent appearances at the Knoxville Boys & Girls Club to speak to and play with children and to Children's Hospital where she visits patients. She shares her time with Feed The Need and Redeeming Hope Ministries and has been involved in events generating awareness about and helping folks and families dealing with Alzheimer's, such as a Christmas visit to Shannondale Nursing Home.
Taber also is a frequent speaker at area churches, youth groups, FCA clubs and schools and a volunteer at area hospitals. She also participated with her team in the support of a basketball team comprised of Iraqi refugees.
Spani and her teammates will begin SEC Tournament play at noon on Friday, as the top-seeded Lady Vols take on the winner of Thursday's Arkansas-Florida game.