Watts Mural Honors Kobe; Vanessa Bryant Amends Mamba Foundation Name

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WATTS (CNS) - A massive mural in honor of Kobe Bryant was unveiled in Watts today, paying tribute not only to the Laker legend but his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the seven other people who died in a Calabasas helicopter crash.

The mural in the 1500 block of East 103rd Street was created by artist PeQue Brown.

Covering a wall measuring roughly 65 feet by 28 feet, the mural includes multiple images of Bryant and the words ``Heart of a Legend.'' It also includes a quote from Bryant saying, ``Great things come from hard work & perseverance. No excuses.''

``What inspired me is the man, Kobe Bryant, not just the basketball player,'' Brown told KTLA5. ``The man who was hard-working, who believed in perseverance and believed in making the people around him better.''

The mural also includes the names of all the victims of the Jan. 26 helicopter crash.

On his Facebook page, the artist noted that City Councilmen Joe Buscaino and Herb Wesson helped expedite permits for the mural, while companies like The Home Depot and Lowe's donated supplies, such as paint and a boom lift.

``In a little more than a week, we transformed the old Watts fire station wall from a worn, tattered mural wall to a tribute and celebration to the legacy of Kobe Bryant as well as a memorial to all who lost their lives in that tragic accident on Jan. 26th,'' Brown wrote. ``My hope is that this will be a true blessing and encouragement to all who see it; a healing for the community.''

He noted that nobody involved in the project was paid for their work.

The unveiling came about 11 days before a public memorial service for Bryant and his daughter at Staples Center. Details of the Feb. 24 event are still being planned.

Meanwhile, Bryant's wife, Vanessa, disclosed that the name of her late husband's Mamba Sports Foundation had been changed to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, to incorporate the memory of Gianna -- ``because there is no #24 without #2.''

``Our mission remains the same -- and stronger than ever -- to provide opportunities to young people through sports,'' Vanessa Bryant wrote on her Instagram page. ``Thank you for all the outpouring of support and your kind donations to date as we carry forth Kobe and Gigi's legacy. We hope to empower young athletes in a world they left us all to help shape.''

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