Two new basketball goals were installed at Goldston United Methodist Church just recently, completing the final touches of a project initiated last year by Chatham Central High School senior Riley Michael Lagenor to fund and build a full basketball court at his church.
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GOLDSTON — Two new basketball goals were installed at Goldston United Methodist Church just recently, completing the final touches of a project initiated last year by Chatham Central High School senior Riley Michael Lagenor to fund and build a full basketball court at his church.
Lagenor undertook the service project as his work towards earning the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank a Boy Scout can earn. To attain the honor, a Scout must plan, develop and lead an Eagle Scout Service Project that benefits a religious institution, school or community. Such projects cannot be commercial or solely fundraising.
Lagenor observed at his church an opportunity to fulfill a public need.
“My church hosted a small service on Wednesday nights,” Lagenor said, recalling the origins of his Eagle Scout project, “and after the youth finished their devotion, we would go play basketball in the parking lot. I felt playing in the parking lot where cars are coming and going was a little dangerous, so I wanted a place where the youth and even the community could play safely.”
So the Scout launched a fundraising effort to create a safer setting to shoot hoops.
“I raised around a total of $4,000,” Lagenor said.
Lagenor, the son of Pete and Kristen Lagenor of Pittsboro, was honored at a ceremony at Goldston United Methodist Church last October.
The project he undertook — a full 94-foot by 50-foot basketball court — realized completion late last month with the installation of the two goals.
“The court is completely finished,” Lagenor said last week. “With help from friends and volunteers, the concrete was poured back in July of last year, but about a week ago two new goals were placed in the ground. Basketball is my favorite sport and I’ve been playing since I was 7 years old as I’ve had the opportunity to play for J.S. Waters for two years and Chatham Central all four years.”
Lagenor said he “began Scouting when I was in the 1st grade, so I’ve been in this for about 11 or 12 years. I began in Cub Scouts, which was Pack 900, and then I crossed over in 5th grade into Troop 900 out of Goldston.”
The Scouting program has been beneficial to him in many ways, he said.
“It’s important to me because I learned many skills and values that I might not get if I hadn’t been in Scouts,” he said. “I learned things like how to pitch a tent, properly manage my finances, how to delegate a large group as a leader, and I even got experience with customer service through selling food in fundraisers.”
In addition to Scouting, Lagenor has a passion for athletics.
“I really love to play sports,” he said, “whether it’s football, basketball, or baseball. I also enjoy fishing and volunteering with my church youth group.”
School “isn’t my favorite thing to do,” he confided, “but I really enjoy American history and some math, the math I understand.”
School and team sports are, of course, on hold for Lagenor, as they are for all students during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“This definitely was not how I wanted my senior year to end as the majority of the baseball season is canceled as of currently and I don’t get to hang out with friends as much as I would like,” he said.
But he’s trying to make the most of his time while maintaining social distancing.
“During this time, I’ve tried to make the most of what I have by doing my school work and spending time with my family and also working around trying to earn a few dollars,” he said.
In the fall, he’ll be attending N.C. State in Raleigh.
“I’m not entirely sure what I want to major in,” he said, “so I applied for the Exploratory Studies program which helps students figure out their interests and majors that relate to their interests.”
Randall Rigsbee can be reached at email@example.com.