Vanessa Bryant & Lakers Renovate Gym & Add Mural Of Gianna & Kobe Bryant At Nickerson Gardens
Vanessa Bryant, Lakers
Vanessa Bryant and the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation teamed up with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Lakers Youth Foundation to update and renovate multiple sports spaces at Nickerson Gardens in Watts, the largest public housing community in Los Angeles.

For decades, the Los Angeles Lakers were fortunate enough to have someone as great as Kobe Bryant to lead the storied franchise.

Bryant formed arguably the best one-two punch in NBA history with Shaquille O’Neal and the duo went on to “three-peat” from 2000-2002. Even after the Lakers traded O’Neal to the Miami Heat, Bryant endured and would eventually go on to win two more titles along with Pau Gasol.

It’s nearly impossible to quantify the impact that Bryant had on the city of Los Angeles and its massive fanbase and his legacy endures four years after his tragic death in a helicopter accident. Since that fateful day, countless venues and areas have paid homage to the Black Mamba with statues and murals. Bryant was recently immortalized in front of Crypto.com Arena with his own statue, with two more to follow at a later date.

However, the Lakers and the Lakers Youth Foundation recently teamed up with Vanessa Bryant and the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation to renovate multiple sports spaces at Nickerson Gardens in Watts. Part of the renovation project included a brand new mural depicting Kobe and his daughter Gianna.

Vanessa Bryant, Lakers
Vanessa Bryant and the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation teamed up with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Lakers Youth Foundation to update and renovate multiple sports spaces at Nickerson Gardens in Watts, the largest public housing community in Los Angeles.
Vanessa Bryant, Lakers
Vanessa Bryant and the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation teamed up with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Lakers Youth Foundation to update and renovate multiple sports spaces at Nickerson Gardens in Watts, the largest public housing community in Los Angeles.

Vanessa issued a statement regarding the renovation project and new mural.

“This gymnasium stands as a testament to Kobe and Gigi’s unwavering belief in the potential of every young athlete,” said Vanessa Bryant, chair of the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. “This serves as a reminder to all the boys and girls who play here that they are supported and loved. We want this to be a free and safe space for you to enjoy the game that Kobe and Gianna loved so much.”

The artist behind the mural, Brian Peterson, also commented on his work and what it means to him and the game of basketball.

“This is more than a mural,” said Peterson. “It’s a place where the spirit of Kobe and Gigi lives on, inspiring players to bring their best to the court. This project is a testament to the power of basketball to unite people and create lasting memories.”

The updated sports facilities will serve more than 3,000 Nickerson Gardens residents, including 1,300 kids. Vanessa was on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday afternoon to show off the gym refurbishments that include a resurfaced floor, updated bleachers, Mamba and Mambacita designs and graphics and purple and gold touches throughout. Outdoors, there are three updated basketball courts, including two repaved black tops and one sport court designed for younger players, as well as an outdoor skate park. New backboards and rims are featured on all courts as the area is infused with the iconic Lakers colors.

According to the Lakers, Nickerson Gardens is managed by the Housing Authority of Los Angeles and was chosen for refurbishment because it is the former location of the Boys and Girls Club that Kobe used to host his youth basketball program “Mamba League.” The organization also noted they were inspired by the local community support from Top Dawg Entertainment.

Anthony Edwards joins Lakers’ Kobe Bryant in NBA Playoff history

It’s easy to watch Anthony Edwards in the 2024 NBA Playoffs and compare him to Kobe Bryant given how similar their playstyles and attitudes are. During the Western Conference Semifinals against the Denver Nuggets, Edwards joined Bryant as the only players 22 years old or younger to record back-to-back 40-point games in NBA postseason history.

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