Vanessa Bryant took a trip to Philadelphia to visit a new mural portraying her late husband Kobe and daughter Gianna.
On Tuesday, the 40-year-old former model shared a photo on Instagram of herself leaning against the mural, located in Kobe’s hometown. She wears the late NBA player’s Lower Merion Aces high school varsity jacket.
In her post, Bryant shares that she was in Philadelphia to attend the opening of two new basketball courts at Tustin Playground honouring Kobe and Gianna’s name, a collaboration with Nancy Lieberman’s Dream Courts charity organization.
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Dream Courts’ Instagram account posted photos of the new court that features a half-court circle with Kobe and Gianna’s names written in the centre, along with a purple and yellow Los Angeles Lakers-inspired colour scheme with Kobe’s No. 24 outlined with a heart, surrounding the foul lines outside each end.
The mural, designed by Philadelphia artist Ernel Martinez, is displayed in the corner of the court to watch over the basketball players in Kobe’s hometown.
“PHILADELPHIA where my husband’s love for basketball all began,” Bryant captioned the post. “Today, in the historic Tustin Playground and thanks to the generous contributions of donors, fans, and friends, our foundation @mambamambacitasports opened 2 more @dream_courts with @nlcharities, which were beautifully surrounded by the artwork of @Art_by_Ernel.”
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She explained why she helped dedicate a court to her late husband and daughter.
“I chose this location so that young people in this community may have a safe space to play with equal opportunity which was important to Kobe and Gianna,” she wrote. “We are grateful to the City of Philadelphia, @muralarts for welcoming this project and helping to make it a reality.”
Tuesday’s opening of the new court marked an important date for the Bryant family — the 13th anniversary of the Lakers’ 2009 NBA championship against Orlando Magic, Kobe’s fourth franchise championship.