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Brandon Khuu ’20 Serves an Ace for the Tennis Community

As he played matches at schools around the Bay Area, two-year varsity tennis player Brandon Khuu ’20 noticed that many had tennis backboards that provided players a place to practice their strokes and serves.

After consulting with O’Dowd tennis coach Tom DeTurk, the longtime Boy Scout decided to propose constructing a tennis backboard at Merritt College – where the O’Dowd tennis team practices – for his Eagle Scout project.

First, he had to secure approval from his Scout Master and other Troop 708 leaders, as well as the local Boy Scout Council. Then Brandon presented the idea to Merritt’s Director of Facilities and Campus Operations Kevin Bertelsen who enthusiastically signed off on the project.

Last week, Brandon met with Bertelsen and Merritt College President Dr. Marie-Elaine Burns in front of the newly completed tennis backboard, which measures 36-feet wide by 12-feet high, to present them a donation of nearly $250 – extra funds that remained after the completion of the project.

“It’s a win-win,” Burns said of facility improvement.

The entire project, which took two months to complete, took 300 man hours for planning, fundraising, getting supplies and building. Brandon’s team included his fellow Troop members, O’Dowd tennis players and several adults including DeTurk.

“I couldn’t have done this without my family, friends, tennis teammates and the Boy Scout community,” Brandon said. “Everyone supported me and I am so thankful to have them in my life.”

DeTurk said that sports help build a young person’s character, and given the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves they will jump at the chance. “For Brandon to design and complete his Eagle Scout project while benefiting his school, and creating a tangible improvement for the local tennis community, is a shining example of a young person serving the greater good,” he said. “I was inspired by the whole process – wonderful things can happen when you begin with the right attitude and the right reasons.”

Brandon is pleased with how the project turned out and hopes that local tennis players will have hours of enjoyment using the backboard. “I can hear the wall being used already,” he said with smile.

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