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Slam dunk: Gilbert resident gives back to school community

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Gilbert resident Nicolas Quinn finished his Eagle Scout project by constructing a basketball court at his old elementary school, Sonoma Ranch Elementary School, in Gilbert. [Submitted]

Giving back to one's community is an essential trait for any adolescent to learn. For Gilbert resident Nicolas Quinn, his form of giving back is building a basketball court at his old elementary school, Sonoma Ranch Elementary School in Gilbert.

Building the basketball court was in conjunction with Nicolas’ Eagle Scout Project, which consisted of a project centered on servicing the community and learning vital leadership skills.

Nicolas, 13, entered Boy Scouts at a young age; when he was 8 years old, during which time he was a Cub Scout.

When he turned 11, Nicolas joined the Boy Scouts and started formulating plans for his Eagle Scout project.

He made the decision to build a basketball court at his old elementary school for two reasons: he has always been an avid basketball fan, and he knew that the school was in need of a basketball court in its playground.

“Sonoma Elementary School is where I went for fourth through sixth grade and I love basketball, and I asked them if there was anything that I could do that had to do with basketball,” he said.

After speaking with staff members at Sonoma about the idea of building a new basketball court at the school in 2014, he was given the green light. Nicolas hit the ground running by asking local businesses for donations.

Along with local businesses and staff at Sonoma, Nicolas also worked alongside Gilbert Public Schools to move the sprinkler system that surrounded the basketball court.

He was able to raise $2,500 toward the construction cost, and in December of 2014, the basketball court broke ground. It took nearly 300 hours to complete.

The final process finished in March, which Nicolas said it was great to see how the students enjoyed the finish product.

“I really liked seeing the finished product and seeing all the kids playing on the court,” he said.

Donelle Quinn, Nicolas’ mother, said they’re at two separate playgrounds at Sonoma for the younger and older students, and at the younger playground, there wasn’t a basketball court.

“He has a little sister that is in second grade at the school who plays at that playground, and he thought it would be a great opportunity to give them something where they can play, be active, and learn a new sport,” she said.

Nicolas will soon submit his Eagle Scout project to be reviewed and will be notified if he has met all the requirements to become an Eagle Scout.

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