Colin Ulle is used to putting the ball through the hoop, not jumping through hoops. But that is what the 17-year-old finds himself doing these days.
Ulle is spearheading a project to build an outdoor basketball court at Brookswood Secondary.
The idea came to the Grade 11 student back in September.
It was during his spare block, when Ulle — who plays on the senior boys basketball team — wanted to go to the gym to shoot some hoops. But with the gym booked for classes, there was no court for him to work on his shot.
It got him thinking, and soon Ulle developed a plan to build a full-sized outdoor basketball court at the school.
“There are really no outdoor court options in the community, and I just wanted somewhere to play,” he said.
“And this would give those in the community somewhere to play.”
There is one outdoor court option at East Brookswood Park, as well as basketball hoops at the various elementary schools in the area.
So those looking to play basketball at a proper court either have to drive elsewhere or pay for drop-in at a community centre.
Jyoti Pawar, Ulle’s coach at Brookswood, agrees the court would be beneficial.
“We have so many kids who want to shoot hoops,” he said. “This court will be used all the time.”
He pointed out that when the school has open gym at lunch time, there are typically 50 or so kids hanging around to shoot hoops.
Many, like Ulle, don’t have their licences, so are limited in where they can go.
Working with the administration at Brookswood Secondary, Ulle’s plan gained traction and got the necessary approvals.
“For a Grade 11 kid, it is quite amazing,” said Brookswood vice-principal Jeff Keen.
Keen and principal John Pusic both arrived at Brookswood in January, after Ulle had already begun work on the project, including getting approval from the previous administration.
“He brought us up to speed very quickly with a very, very professional looking presentation,” Keen said.
“He is very determined and he has a vision,” added Pusic.
The estimated cost of the project is $26,000 and Ulle has already lined up one donor — who wishes to remain anonymous — and is in talks with some others to help make the court a reality.
“Everyone has been super supportive,” Ulle said.
The court will be built adjacent to the playing field, replacing a set of bike racks.
The bike racks will be relocated to another part of the school property, Keen said.
The project has been an eye-opener, especially the estimated cost, Ulle said.
There is also a burger and beer night set for May 6 at the Artful Dodger, with 100 tickets available for $20 apiece. The cost includes a burger and fries and a beverage. There will also be a 50/50 draw and silent auction.
For tickets, firstname.lastname@example.org.