JD had a big idea for his Eagle Scout project – to build the first outdoor basketball court in his hometown. As a proud supporter of the communities in which we work and live, Enterprise was ready to team up and help.
Go deeper into the inspiring story of one Boy Scout's game plan to bring his community together with a basketball court
The Eagle Scout is the highest rank a Boy Scout can achieve – and less than 5% do so.
After years of earning badges and helping lead one’s troop, the Scout must complete a project in the community to earn the ultimate Eagle honor.
For JD, a 15-year-old Scout living in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, the community project portion of his Eagle Scout journey was an opportunity to go above and beyond for his friends, neighbors and community.
JD’s big idea?
To build the first outdoor public basketball court in Fuquay-Varina.
“For me, this project represents the two things that I love – basketball and being outdoors,” says JD.
And a labor of love this would be.
“This is not just fixing up a park bench or a storm drain like many other Eagle Scout projects we've had,” says town mayor John Byrne. “This is a BIG project.”
“I think we were all a little bit leery of the scope,” says Kristin, JD’s mom. “But, you know, our family starts something, we finish it.” JD agrees. “Even though people were skeptical at the beginning, I felt that I still had to do this because I had started out, and my parents have instilled in me not to quit in anything you do,” says JD. “So once I started, I knew I had to finish it."
It all began with earning the support of his city – something JD had no problem doing.
“Our Town Board really wanted it, our recreation staff wanted it,” recalls Mayor Byrne. “JD worked very closely with our Parks and Recreation Director and wow, they came up with this huge project.”
With the backing of local government, JD went to work. He presented his plan to multiple town committees, went through different channels in the parks & rec division, secured a site, mapped out the plan – and then JD had to raise $27,000 for supplies and services.
JD reached out to community leaders, his church, and local businesses in an effort to raise monetary and supply donations, including concrete for the court itself. He also raised funds by managing a Christmas tree lot and organizing a college basketball bracket challenge.
JD had raised approximately 80% of the funds when he received a call from Enterprise.
“Enterprise heard about what I was doing and asked if they could fund the rest of the project,” says JD. “I was MORE than happy to say yes.”
During that call, the Minor family all celebrated, dancing around the room, giving silent cheers so as not to interrupt the Enterprise representatives on the other line.
“When a company like Enterprise gets involved with one high school kid, it leaves a big impact on the kid, and also a big impact on the community,” says Jim Minor, JD’s dad.
Enterprise provided a monetary donation, as well as trucks to help haul landscaping supplies and plants.
With full financial backing, JD’s dream started becoming a reality. Over the next several months, an open piece of land in the heart of Fuquay-Varina transformed into the town’s first outdoor basketball court.
JD knew it would be a team effort, and enlisted other members of his Boy Scout troop to help, specifically to put in the landscaping.
“The other guys in the troop have been really supportive,” says JD. “I knew with a good team of people, I could get it done.”
To celebrate the finished court, Enterprise hosted a tipoff party for JD and the community. While a lot of JD’s expected friends and family came to the event, there were many guests JD had never met – people living in nearby neighborhoods, adults and kids of all ages who now have a place to play.
According to Jim Minor, that’s what this is all about.
“One of the Boy Scout slogans is to ‘do a good turn daily’”, says Jim. “And building this basketball court is obviously more than a daily good turn; hopefully it will inspire them to just make a difference in their community. It doesn't have to be a huge project, but just leave the community better than they found it.”
In Scouting, the Court of Honor is a ceremony where Scouts who have moved up in rank are publicly honored. While the court tipoff wasn’t the official Eagle Scout ceremony, for JD and his family, it served as the ultimate Court of Honor. His project was complete, and as a direct result, people across the community were coming together, getting outside, and sharing JD’s love of basketball.
JD’s hope is that his Eagle Scout project has a meaningful legacy in Fuquay-Varina, and beyond: “I hope this court inspires kids across the country to do something bigger than themselves.”