TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Murals honoring basketball legend Kobe Bryant have popped up around the globe since the icon died at the beginning of the year — and now a Florida artist has completed what might be the world’s largest.
Jorge Roldan, 24, painted a massive 80-foot-tall mural of Bryant on a basketball court at Seminole Elementary School in Tampa.
More than 300 hours went into completing the mural, which spans 100-feet wide across the court.
“Painting a mural of Kobe on a basketball court was a bucket list item for me. I idolize him as a player, and was really excited to try my hand at a piece this large. It’s been a learning experience, and so much fun,” Roldan said.
Roldan was sponsored by TRIBE Seminole Heights, which supports children in families in the area.
“When Rojo first proposed this idea, a huge mural of Kobe Bryant on the basketball court at the elementary school, I loved it right away, because of who Kobe was as a player. Kobe often spoke about sacrifice, and the need to work hard. That mentality will take kids far, and I loved the idea of spreading it throughout the school,” said Kristen Brown, TRIBE’s founder and director. “We incorporated Kobe quotes into the school’s leadership program. Many of his sentiments echo the seven ‘Leader in Me’ habits the school is trying to instill in the students, but it sounds just a little cooler coming from Kobe.”
Brown said the mural was the largest of Kobe Bryant in the world that her organization could find. The next largest known mural is 39 feet tall and was created at an elementary school in Gradiška, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“We’re excited to reveal this Kobe mural for our students to see that they can dream big and achieve their goals just like he did! He embodied the ideals of hard work and perseverance that we try to instill in our students every day!” said Seminole Heights Elementary School principal Dr. Francine Lazarus. “This project also exposes our students to the power and inspiration that art can have on an entire community.”