Thursday, February 13, 2020

House of Kobe Becomes a Tribute to NBA Legend Hours After Opening

Wazzup Pilipinas!

A new basketball court inspired by Kobe Bryant immediately become an unexpected tribute to a fallen sporting hero. The NBA star died in a helicopter crash just hours after the new basketball venue opened. Now, there is a memorial in the Philippines for the deceased LA Lakers legend.

The Full Story

Artists Jonathan Jaudines and Leander Akamine painted a mural of Kobe Bryant in the Karuhatan Convention Center, in Valenzuela (Metro Manillas) The court was inaugurated on Sunday 26 January under the name of the House of Kobe.

A question of hours later, the Los Angeles Laker player died, along with his young daughter and seven others, in a helicopter crash in California. The accident happened at 10am US time, as the helicopter ran into problems in heavy fog before crashing into the side of a mountain.

Jaudines said that they were all shocked to hear the news come through so soon after the center had been officially opened. This coincidence was made even stranger by the fact that the decision to name the sports centre after Bryant was only taken a week earlier.

Congressman Eric Martinez told reporters that the community had begun the building work last year. They decided to put the retired NBA stars name to it based on his views on upward social mobility, as well as his massive popularity in the country.

What Was the Reaction Like?

Congressman Eric Martinez pointed out that the short time-scale from cutting the ribbon to hearing the awful news made the situation difficult to understand. He pointed out that "everyone has been fighting back tears today” and that it is a basketball-loving nation.

Other sports fans attended the new covered court to lay candles and flowers as a tribute to their hero. Heart-felt messages written on the wall included Rest in peace, Kobe, Rest in paradise, my hero, and Gone too soon. Plans to include the stars daughter, Gianna, in the mural are being discussed currently.

This is one of several new basketball courts that have been financed by Martinez, who used his congressional allocation to fund the P24-million convention center. A snake-shaped balustrade pays tribute to Bryants Black Mamba nickname while his face has been painted on the wall.

The Link Between Bryant and the Philippines

The NBA legend had recently been invited to visit the court on his next visit to the Philippines. His popularity in the country grew with each visit that he made. He travelled here a total of seven times during his long, successful career with the Lakers.

As one of the best-known stars in one of the most popular sports here, Bryant became an idol to millions of basketball fans. His so-called Mamba Mentality involved giving everything to succeed and not being afraid of failure. It is an inspiring idea that clearly struck a chord with millions of fans in this country and elsewhere.

ABC CBN News perhaps summed up the national mood best. Their headline stated that Kobe Bryant showed Philippines love, and Filipinos loved him back”. On a trip to the country, he once family played basketball with former President Joseph Estrada, and was happy to meet fans wherever he went.

It is obvious to know why, as Philippines loves basketball and his visit inspired young kids to pursue a career and become college basketball betting favorites in a near future.

Senator and boxer Manny Pacquiao put his own tribute to Bryant on Instagram. Pacquiao, who used to own a basketball team (Pacquiao Powervit Pilippinas Aguilas) commented that "the world lost a legend today”. He pointed out that the stars legacy will go on forever.

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial was another high-profile figure to comment on the tragic news. He said that Bryant had been an exceptional player with a caring heart and that the PBA had lost a dear friend in the accident.

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