A fundraising effort aims to renovate a basketball court at Fernandez Park in Pinole in memory of murdered Federal Protective Service Officer Dave Patrick Underwood.
Underwood was a well-respected Pinole resident who spent much of his childhood at the basketball court, according to the city. The 53-year-old life-long Pinole resident was assassinated, and his partner injured, in a drive-by shooting May 29 as they were guarding the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland.
In the wake of his death, community members approached the city about the possibility of repaving and repainting the basketball court at Fernandez Park and naming the court in memory of Underwood. At last week’s meeting, Pinole City Council unanimously approved fast-tracking the court renaming process.
The grassroots effort will be a collaboration between the city and community partners.
“Community partners have offered to secure free labor for painting, reduced-cost paving services, and financial contributions toward painting supplies and the paving,” according to the city.
A GoFundeMe fundraiser has been launched with the aim of raising $10,000 toward the effort. The organizer of the fundraiser, George Phillips, said he knew Underwood for over 40 years. He called his late friend a hero who was “killed doing what he loved and that was protecting his community and others.”
“Patrick was an amazing, humble, loving and proud man who loved his community,” Phillips added.
A report by KTVU’s (Ch.2) Amber Lee states that Underwood’s name will be painted on the court, “which will be in blue and yellow, the colors of Pinole Valley High, where Underwood was a star athlete.”
“Patrick always had a smile on his face, you know, he could smile at you with his eyes,” Troy Porter, who reportedly played youth baseball with Underwood, told KTVU. “He always made you feel comfortable. It’s an honor for me to be part of putting this basketball court memorial together for him.”
Lee reported that friends hope to have the court project accomplished by September.