Casa Grande sophomore making most of his time on and off basketball court

Dec 5, 2023, 5:00 AM | Updated: Dec 20, 2023, 9:04 am

Casa Grande Union High School...

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Casa Grande Union High School sophomore Phinneas Linehan aspires to make it to the next level on the basketball court while maintaining a high academic level with law school on his radar.

Linehan, 15, made the varsity basketball team this season as a guard after improving his vision and shooting touch. The sport has meant a lot to him since he was 7 years old, and Phoenix Suns merchandise hangs around his room.

But Linehan also has a lot going on off the court. For starters, he is one of 10 siblings, nearly smack-dab in the middle as the fifth oldest. His eldest sibling is 26 years old while he has a 6-year-old sister on the other end of the age range. Five boys and five girls make up the family.

“I play (basketball) with my (13-year-old) brother a little bit, we have little competitions and everything,” Linehan said. “I teach him stuff I learned from practice because I don’t want to be gatekeeping. So I teach him up and he’s good. He plays on a team as well. … With their homework as well, I help them … they come to me first, instead of my parents.”

Linehan has a 4.3 GPA, fitting in his work and tutoring friends and siblings between the end of school at 3:15 p.m. and the start of practice at 6:30 p.m.

He is taking honors chemistry and AP world history with plans to take more advanced classes next year and signed up with Upward Bound, a federal program that supports students working toward higher education.

He received an email followed by a letter a couple months back with an invitation to attend a Stanford Law School summer program. He said it came out of the blue but felt it was sent because he has kept his grades up.

“I feel like it’s something I really want to do. It could help with experience because I don’t have that much experience with law,” Linehan said. “My dad is a cop, so he could teach me something a little bit but with law school, with this program, I feel like it could really help me because they offer knowledge … and could help me in my future because then I could put it on my resume that I have experience and I’m not winging it into law school.”

“Financially, I don’t know how I’m gonna be able to do it because it’s expensive and I have a lot of siblings,” he added.

Away from the classroom and the court, Linehan has a few plans to help others this holiday season.

Linehan has helped with “Blue Santa” for nearly a decade, handing out presents to children in the community with Santa Claus dressed in blue instead of red. With his father working in public safety, he has also volunteered with “Shop-with-a-Cop” events to help kids get school supplies.


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Casa Grande sophomore making most of his time on and off basketball court