Pouring a family legacy, one basketball court at a time

by Chastity Julson
Work is nearly complete on a project to pour a new concrete surface on the basketball court south of the New Underwood School, thanks to the engineering of New Underwood High School senior Shay Huether. 
Shay chose to resurface the basketball court for his senior project. All of the New Underwood seniors are required to complete some kind of culminating project before they graduate. Eighteen-year-old Shay, who has worked since he was 10-years-old in the concrete business with his grandfather, Bill Tines, owner of Tines Construction, decided that he wanted to do a concrete project as his senior year culmination. 
Until Shay’s project, the basketball court had been surfaced with asphalt. From the information Bill was able to glean, the courts were originally poured in 1975 or 1976, with, Bill surmised, a great deal of community volunteered labor.  
The court has been well utilized. In good weather, New Underwood children can be found on the basketball court nearly every day.
According to Bill, the idea of resurfacing the basketball court came when Shay’s younger brother, Jace, approached Bill last year to see what it would cost to pour a 20’x20’ slab of cement on the outdoor basketball court so kids could actually dribble the ball. 
The asphalt was slippery, Shay said, and was causing problems when children were playing on it. Even basic basketball skills like doing a layup were difficult on the asphalt surface. 
Bill approached the school last year to see if there was interest in resurfacing a 20’x20’ area. At that time, he was met with indifference.
Shay, however, revisited the idea this year. Originally, he had planned to pour a 20’x20’ slab. That would cost roughly $1,500. The project grew, though, as more people heard about it. Eventually, Shay was encouraged to resurface the whole area, which meant a 40’x80’ slab, with a materials cost of about $7,000.
Then one morning, over breakfast, Larry Graham, a New Underwood City Council member, mentioned that the City had some money set aside for a town improvement project. They were considering constructing some new sidewalks. 
Bill and Shay approached the City Council about using their town improvement fund to help cover the cost of materials for the basketball court project. The City Council agreed that they would put in $3,500 for the materials if the school matched the donation. School Superintendent George Seiler and the rest of the administrative team agreed. With financing in place, the project was set to move forward. 
Recognizing the good the basketball court provides to the community, the New Underwood Lions Club also approached Bill and offered funds to help with the project. A final boost came when Croell Redimix, the concrete supplier, donated the cost of the concrete, which was, Bill said, roughly $1,200.  
The work on the basketball court was met with a great deal of excitement. When Shay and Bill were prepping the site, several young children came over to see what was happening. “We are getting a new basketball court,” they crowed to each other,” Bill said. 
“You could just see their excitement,” said Bill.
The excitement was not limited to young ballers, though. Shay’s friends caught his vision, and many of them offered to come to help with the work. It became, according to Bill, like how projects once were done – with neighbors and community members pitching in to bring a project to completion. 
The rest of the story
Like most high school seniors, Shay has enjoyed his time in school. He particularly recalls with fondness his years of football and the time he has spent hanging out with his friends. Another favorite part of his junior high and high school career, though, has been the time he has spent working with and learning from Bill. 
“It’s pretty huge to work with Grandpa,” said Shay, who credits Bill with teaching him not only the intricacies of concrete work, but also with instilling a good work ethic in him. 
Currently, Bill has three of his four grandsons working in the concrete business with him. The youngest grandson, who is ten years old, informed Bill that he plans to come work for him this summer. 
“I would have retired years ago, but I get to work with my grandsons,” Bill said.
The current basketball court is not the first of such projects for the Tines Construction team. The basketball court on the north side of the New Underwood School, where the elementary students have their recess, was constructed in honor of Margaret Filholm, Shay’s great-grandmother. Though Bill’s team of grandsons were young at the time, they aided him as he poured the concrete for that project as well. In fact, Bill has a photo of Jace, then a four year old, working with him. A recreation of that photo was in the works for Monday, April 30, as the concrete was poured on the current basketball project.
Senior projects are designed to provide students with a finished product that will broaden their world and offer them guidance into what they might do after graduation. This experience has helped to further guide Shay as he considers taking over Tines Construction after he graduates. 
Bill, honored and delighted to have his grandsons want to follow in his footsteps, just grins.
“I think I am having more fun than he is,” Bill said. 

The Pioneer Review

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Philip, SD 57567
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