Emmanuel Omokaro of Danbury has been thinking of ways to keep Joe Neumuller's name alive ever since he was killed in a 2016 car crash.
Last October, the idea to build a basketball court in Neumuller's came to Omokaro.
He is currently seeking a playground permit from the city so construction can begin at St. Gregory The Great School on Great Plain Road. Neumuller was a parishioner of the church.
Omokaro says the court will solve two positives.
"Everyone always looking for somewhere to play basketball in Danbury," the 28-year-old told Daily Voice. "That gives people a new spot to play, and it's something that would make Joe happy."
Neumuller and Omokaro met at Danbury High School, both athletes on the track and football teams.
Knowing that Neumuller was an avid New York Knicks fan, Omokaro opted to make the new court orange and blue.
He came to church and school officials in December with the idea. It was approved with overwhelming support, and Omokaro began fundraising the next month.
He was able to raise the necessary $10,000 in less than two months.
Local contractor Dale Hardisy of Asphalt Repair Solutions, Inc. offered to do all of the construction for free.
Omokaro expects to break ground in the spring.
"Joe was very caring and loyal to his friends. He would take the shirt off of his back for them," Omokaro said. "He loved playing sports, especially basketball, and playing all around Danbury was his thing.
"This was the best way to honor him."
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