Artists Jonathan Jaudines and Leander Akamine said they could hardly believe that the mural they painted in the Karuhatan Convention Center had unexpectedly become a tribute.?
Maria Tan/AFP
‘House of Kobe’ launched in Philippines before tragedy
Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - January 28, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A Kobe Bryant-inspired basketball court called the “House of Kobe” was inaugurated in Valenzuela on Sunday, just hours before the basketball legend and his daughter died in a helicopter crash in California.?

Artists Jonathan Jaudines and Leander Akamine said they could hardly believe that the mural they painted in the Karuhatan Convention Center had unexpectedly become a tribute.?

“We were all shocked. It’s an honor to paint a mural of Bryant,” Jaudines told The STAR yesterday.?

“No one expected that would happen,” said Akamine of the coincidence of Bryant’s death that followed the court’s inauguration.?

Flowers were offered and candles were lit yesterday in front of the court that became a tribute wall for Bryant. ?Jaudines painted Byrant’s face on the wall, where fans wrote dedications for the basketball legend hours after news of his death broke.

“Gone too soon,” a message on the wall read. Another one wrote: “Rest in peace, Kobe. You’re still the goat!”?In the convention center were paintings of Bryant hanging above the court and beside the entrance.

The balustrade of the court was shaped like a snake, a homage to Bryant’s moniker “Black Mamba.”?Valenzuela Rep. Eric Martinez, who led the inauguration of the covered court on Sunday, was at a loss for words when asked to comment on a remark that the court he had built suddenly became a tribute.?The funds for the P24-million convention center was sourced from Martinez’s congressional allocation. It was the sixth basketball court he had built and named after NBA teams.?Martinez, who described himself as a “die-hard” Lakers fan, said he invited Bryant to drop by the court when he visits the Philippines.?He woke up to the news that Bryant had died. “I’m at a loss for words. I had just invited him. Maybe that’s the reason the court came about,” Martinez told The STAR.?He said he would look into having the artists paint a mural for Bryant’s daughter Gianna.

HOUSE OF KOBE
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