Sweeeet! 'Family Guy' creator funds Kent basketball court
KENT â€” Hometown hero Seth MacFarlane, creator of the popular â€œFamily Guyâ€ and â€œAmerican Dad!â€ television shows, has not forgotten his roots.
MacFarlane, a Kent Center School graduate, has donated much of the money needed to construct a new basketball court. The announcement of the donation was made at the â€œHacks For Hoopsâ€ golf tournament at Bulls Bridge Golf Club on Monday, May 11.
Since last year, a group of residents has been trying to raise money to install a new outdoor basketball court at the school. Due to recent renovations, the outdoor basketball court is now used as a parking area. Cars are often parked right underneath the basketball hoops.
Before the golf tournament, Selectman Bruce Adams said the school needed $30,000 to cover the costs of installing the court.
The tournament raised $8,000, which was added to the $5,000 already raised.
Then, on a lark, Adams tracked down MacFarleneâ€™s e-mail address through a friend of a friend.
â€œI e-mailed him and I wasnâ€™t expecting to hear from him at all,â€ Adams said. â€œThe next thing you know, he e-mailed me back. I wrote to him about how much the court would cost and right away he wrote back that he would send a check for $30,000.â€
MacFarlane graduated from the school in 1987 and had Adams as a social studies teacher for two years.
â€œHe was a good student,â€ Adams said. â€œHe was extremely talented artistically and very witty. He was fun and had a great sense of humor.
â€œOne day during recess, a kid was running from a school bully who was chasing him down the schoolyard. I stuck my arm out to stop the bully and he went down. Then there goes Seth with a piece of paper and he sketched the whole scene out, with the bully wrapped around my arm, totally in the â€˜Family Guyâ€™ cartoon style.â€
The court will be named in honor of the late Don Gowan, a former dean of students at the independent Kent School boarding school who died last year. Gowan was a varsity football and basketball coach and started the lacrosse program for the school in 1971. He coached six All-American teams, winning four Division I and II championships in his 29-year lacrosse coaching career.
â€œThe MacFarlanes and the Gowans were good friends,â€ Adams said. â€œSeth and Don Jr. were in the same class with each other.â€
Now that the money for the court has been raised, Adams said groundbreaking and construction will begin this summer, and the opening ceremony for the court will be held in early fall.
â€œThis will definitely be one of the best basketball courts around here,â€ Adams said.
â€œAny excess funds will go toward maintaining the court, or we may use some of it for a scoreboard, bleachers, or possibly lights. It will be more than a slab of asphalt or just two hoops, it will be a showplace.â€
Or, as â€œFamily Guyâ€ character Peter Griffin might say, the basketball court will be â€œfrigginâ€™ sweet!â€