Gillispie hands out holiday spirit

The head coach of a major Division 1 basketball program isn't who you'd expect to see handing out turkeys to the less fortunate, but Texas Tech head coach Billy Gillispie isn't your typical Big 12 CEO.

Starting at 11am Friday, Gillispie started handing out a truck full of turkeys at a Lubbock supermarket. The cause? To use the holiday season to give back to the community.

"That's what we all should do," said a grinning Gillispie. "We've all been blessed and given more than we, probably, all deserve--I'm definitely in that category."

Gillispie has instituted a '12 Days of Christmas' for his team, giving his players a chance to go around the community and give back to places ranging from a fire station to the local Ronald McDonald House.

"The whole deal is seeing people's faces and their reactions when you do something nice for them."

Although some of his efforts this holiday season haven't been published, Gillispie did want to make a difference face-to-face with those in need two days before Christmas. And he certainly has: paying for all 500 turkeys out of his own pocketbook.

"United [supermarkets] was nice enough to say they'd be a part of it, so we've kind of teamed together," said Gillispie. "I said, 'Hey you all set it up and I'll write the check.'"

Fortunately for Gillispie, his team, and those they've served, that's not all they've done.

"We've got the right spirit, and that's just what I believe we should do. I don't have any fancy answer for you, that's just what I believe in my heart."

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