VESTAVIA HILLS –  Summer means time for Nick Saban and many of the Alabama football coaches to get away from the practice fields. He and much of his staff played in the 12th annual Nick’s Kids golf tournament at Old Overton Golf Club on Thursday, an event for those who support the charity annually.

“This is really a fun event for us,” Saban said. “Miss Terry and I, a lot of people who do a lot of work, a lot of people who support Nick’s Kids. We feel great about the things that we’ve been able to do in the community: 17 houses and over $7 million dollars in the 10 or 11 years we’ve been doing this to over 100 kids groups. We’re building a school with the juvenile detention center now in Tuscaloosa. There are a lot of things we’ve been able to do for the community. A lot of people support it. Obviously in honor of my father and what he tried to do to help young people. Something that we really, really enjoy doing. This is kind of a family legacy to try and do this.”

Nick’s Kids helped dedicate its 17th Habitat for Humanity home in Tuscaloosa in May. The Tuscaloosa Juvenile Detention Center will also open a new multipurpose classroom facility next month that was funded with a major contribution from the charity.

There’s time for other activities as well. Saban and his family can spend time at their lake house in Georgia.

“I love the lake,” Saban said. “I swim in the lake to take a bath in the lake every day. Everybody kills me over that. People don’t take baths in the lake. I have to have Ivory Soap so it floats, you know. Miss Terry doesn’t like it. But I like it.”

Saban and several players were at the lake last week. The Alabama football program, as well as some players, shared videos and images from their trip on social media. That’s part of the culture for college athletes now, but it was also done purposefully by the program.

“I just think that there’s some myths about Alabama football that we sort of fight all the time in recruiting,” Saban said. “Things like: It’s no fun, it’s all business. That’s not true at all. I think Minkah (Fitzpatrick) said it best: He said ‘I didn’t come to Alabama to have fun, but I had more fun than I had at any time in my life.’ So I think we just try to show the other side. Our players do have a lot of fun. They have a lot of togetherness, a lot of camaraderie in what we do.

“Alabama is a special place and I think when you go there, you find that out and you relate to it. You have a lot of pride in it. We’re just trying to show that side of the program a little bit more. But we’re still committed to the same things in terms of helping the players be more successful in life for having been involved in the program.”

Reach Ben Jones at ben@tidesports.com or 205-722-0196.

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