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York artists paint touching tribute to Kobe Bryant and his daughter


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    YORK, Pa. (WPMT) — A special memorial for five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant is taking shape in York, Pennsylvania.

“He was such an inspiration to so many people. His drive, his motivation,” explained Jaysin Jefferson, a York tattoo artist.

Jefferson is used to working with his hands; this time though, the tattoo artist is creating something for an entire community.

“We just thought it would be a good idea to do a memorial for him and his daughter and the people in the helicopter crash,” explained Jefferson.

Jefferson is one of 5 local artists who are transforming the Penn Street Art Bridge into a touching tribute to Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, who also played basketball. The Penn Street Art Bridge was established in 2017 to transform a vandalism issue into a creative community asset. It’s described as a self-organizing art space for artists to share their work.

“This piece right here is very, very emotional,” explained Roger Myers, who has painted the bridge before.

Every detail on the bridge honors Kobe’s life and legacy.

“Number 33 – I put right here,” explained Myers. “33 to represent [Lower] Merion High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he came from. People wearing his sneakers will see this logo and say, ‘wow, I got that on the bottom of my sneaker’ or ‘that was the logo on the helicopter.’ There are a lot of people – it hits them in different areas.”

Before, Kobe graduated from Lower Merion in 1996, he led the school to a state championship. He’s also remembered by former Cedar Cliff High School basketball coach Pat Gahr.

FOX43 saw dozens of people stopping to take pictures of and with the bridge.

“So many people have come by cause they followed him and he touched their lives. It’s a good way for people to interact and maybe come out here and maybe feel for him,” explained Jefferson.

Jefferson says it’s a way for people to heal and to remember one of basketball’s greatest.

“Pictures have a thousand words,” added Myers.

Fierce competitor and legend are two of many words used by fans to describe Kobe Bryant.

“Him from being from PA, and he’s been nothing but an inspiration to not only me but everybody across the world. This is beautiful,” said one passerby.

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