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Chinese students pay tribute to Kobe Bryant with snowy portrait (pic)


Kobe Bryant is one of the most beloved NBA players in China, but the sizable tribute created by students at Beihua University in China’s Jiling Province is nevertheless chillingly impressive.

A group of students at the university were looking for a subject for a massive art project. Led by sophomore sculpturing major Wei Xudong, inspired by Bryant’s recent retirement announcement, chose the Lakers superstar.

“I must do something for Kobe,” said Wei, via The Los Angeles Times. “I always thought he had not decided on retiring from the NBA, maybe he’ll play one more season. Now I know this is the last season I can see him play.”

In honor of Bryant’s announcement, the students created a portrait of the NBA legend using snow as the medium and a basketball court as a gigantic canvas.

“I started to look for different pictures of Kobe online,” Wei said. “I wanted to find a good picture of what Kobe looks like today, not when he was younger, because this is for commemorating the Kobe we see today is retiring.”

The portrait required the work of eight students along with a teacher to complete over a period of four hours.

Wei admitted it’s hard to see one of his NBA heroes announce his impending retirement, but even he has noticed a substantial drop in the quality of play Bryant has demonstrated during his season-long swan song.

“I must admit, it’s painful to see Kobe play this season sometimes,” he said. “He does look older on the court.”

As noted, Bryant is an iconic figure in China, if not all of Asia (this sculpture in Taiwan substantiates as much). He can even elicit tears from grown men upon the mere sight of him. So perhaps it isn’t all that surprising that his retirement announcement is inspiring tributes on the other side of the world.

(image via China Xinhua News/Twitter)