COLLINSVILLE — West Lauderdale sophomore Parker Henry admitted that the Knights’ basketball locker room wasn’t in the best of shape.
Gum was on the floor, and a fresh paint job was desperately needed. As a Boy Scout, Henry decided to do something about it.
On Friday and Saturday, Henry, members of his Boy Scout Troop 2 and some of his West Lauderdale teammates assisted him on his Eagle Scout project — cleaning up and painting the locker room in hopes of it being a much nicer home for the West Lauderdale boys this coming winter.
“I was tired of looking at it like this, and I didn’t want future players at West Lauderdale to deal with something like this,” Henry said.
The gesture was much-appreciated by West Lauderdale boys basketball coach Duran Clark, who said while the locker room wasn’t a health hazard, it needed cleaning and a fresh coat of paint.
“I thought it was a great idea,” Clark said. “Not only does this benefit (Henry) from a Boy Scout standpoint, but his teammates see that he’s trying to do something for them. The ones who aren’t at the beach came out and helped, so it might be good for team chemistry and bonding.”
One of those teammates, junior Josh Randall, said he told Henry to “have fun” when Henry first mentioned his plan to clean up the locker room. Randall knew it would be a daunting task, and he wasn’t planning to assist at first.
“I got to thinking, though, and I didn’t know how many people would show up (to help),” Randall explained. “I felt like since it was my locker room, too, I should help redo it.”
Like Henry and Clark, Randall said the Eagle Scout project was a good idea.
“The lockers hadn’t been painted in forever, and the walls were peeling,” Randall said. “Everything needed to be redone. It was just terrible.”
Clark said locker rooms are sometimes taken for granted, but he thinks the players will appreciate the job Henry and his friends did once the season begins.
“It makes you feel proud to go to your locker room when it’s nice, clean and neat,” Clark said. “It gives them a sense of pride and will hopefully make them want to keep it up. Also, when we have tournaments, other teams use it, so we want it to look nice.”
Cleaning the locker room also means having one less distraction on game nights, Randall said.
“I think it will bring us more together, because we can go in and not having something disgusting to look at,” Randall said. “It’ll be nice and relaxing.”
As he looks forward to his upcoming sophomore season for the Knights, Henry said he’s also anticipating earning his Eagle Scout rank in the meantime.
“It’s a life accomplishment,” Henry said. “I’ve been looking forward to it since I joined. Like basketball, you hope all the time and hard work you put in will pay off, and it’s paying off now.”