Having received a spectacular reboot last year, the pair of basketball courts at Tustin Playground, now known as the Kobe and Gianna Bryant Dream Court, recently welcomed several special guests on Mamba Day, including the NBA legend’s uncle, Chubby Cox, writes Mike Jensen for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The idea to renovate the courts in Overbrook started as a project by Nancy Lieberman’s charitable foundation that brings urban courts around the country back to life. However, the funds were only enough for one court, so Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, joined the project with her Mamba and Mambacita Foundation.
These courts played a special role in Kobe’s road to the NBA.
“He grew up here playing,” said Sheldon Robinson, founder of Hilltop Hope. ““His uncle lived over there across the street. This is where Kobe would come for the summertime. Kobe would tell everyone, ‘This is where I got my basketball game, from Tustin.’”
Robinson was one of the organizers of the event. He emphasized that the court is as much in honor of Bryant’s daughter as it is him.
“The butterflies you see around the court, that signifies Gigi,” he said.
Read more about the role the basketball courts at Tustin Playground played in Kobe Bryant’s development in The Philadelphia Inquirer.