A day before Filipinos and the whole world woke up to the news of the tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash, the City of Valenzuela inaugurated a Lakers-inspired basketball court called “House of Kobe”, which now serves as a fitting tribute to the well-loved basketball player.
Located at Barangay Karuhatan, the court has Kobe’s Nike signature logo in the center and giant murals of Kobe painted on one end. Murals of the 10 other Laker greats are painted on the walls on the opposite end. Valenzuela’s District 2 Representative Eric Martinez, a Kobe Bryant fan, inaugurated the court and even invited Kobe Bryant to visit their city when he returns to the Philippines.
Kobe has visited the Philippines several times. The first time was in August 1998 when he was just 19 years old – 2 years after his NBA debut. He returned to the country in September 2007, July 2009, July 2011, August 2013, and June 2016, a few months after he announced his retirement from basketball.
The House of Kobe is not the first NBA-inspired court in Valenzuela. They also have the Kyrie Irving court in Barangay Ugong, the Michael Jordan gym in Barangay Gen. T. De Leon, the Golden State Warriors-inspired court in Barangay Marulas, San Antonio Spurs-inspired court in Barangay Maysan, and the Boston Celtics-inspired one in Barangay Ugong. District 2 has nine barangays, each of which has its own NBA theme.
The Kobe-inspired basketball court is open to the public and is a good place for his fans to remember their idol with a basketball game or two. Tag your baller friends to plan a trip there!
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