Basketball court honors memory of Oak Ridge grad

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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It was several years in the making, but the Josh Anderson basketball court is now open.

The court, at the El Dorado Hills Community Service District’s Community Park on Harvard Way, was conceived in 2005 in honor of Oak Ridge High School graduate Josh Anderson, who was killed in a car crash on El Dorado Hills Boulevard.

The 19-year-old’s friends and family said one of his passions was for athletics, especially basketball.

Following his untimely death, those who knew the teen came up with a plan: to build an outdoor basketball court in his honor.

“We wanted to find a way to honor him that would be longstanding,” mother Kelley Anderson said in a previous interview with the Telegraph. “And basketball was a big part of him. When he and his friends weren’t playing it, they were talking about it or they were down seeing Kings games.”

The space, where the court is now ready for pick-up games, was originally slated for a tennis court, said Sandi Kukkola of the El Dorado Hills CSD.

“When Josh passed away, his father was looking for a place to put a basketball court in his son’s name,” she said. “We selected the area and the court was to have been built by a group of volunteer contractors.”

The cost was estimated at about $119,000.

When the downturn of the economy hit, the volunteers who had originally been on board to build the court, were not longer able to help.

The project was then put on hold.

“About two years ago CSD Director Billy Vandegrift resurrected the project and thought the district should pay for the basketball court,” Kukkola said.

The court was recently completed and is ready for the community to enjoy.