On Monday, June 5, the Los Angeles Lakers and representatives of bibigo® foods hosted their inaugural ‘Lakers Town’ community event in Koreatown. The event featured a new Lakers mural by artist, Jonas Never, and appearances by Los Angeles Lakers legends, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, James Worthy, A.C. Green, and Robert Horry at the unveiling of a mural that celebrates some of the dynamic duos in Lakers history.
According to Kiesha Nix, vice president of Charitable Affairs & Lakers Youth Foundation, the Lakers, the partnership with bibigo is intend to create inspiration, creativity, vibrance, and a lasting impact in communities such as Koreatown.
The Lakers and bibigo commissioned local artist, Jonas Never of Culver City, to paint the 140-feet wide, 38-feet tall Lakers-inspired mural, recognizing dynamic duos of past Lakers championship teams. The mural featuring Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar, young Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, veteran Kobe Bryant and Paul Gasol, and Anthony Davis and Lebron James is proudly displayed in Koreatown, the largest Korean neighborhood in L.A.
Lakers Youth Foundation (LYF), announced their plans to create a new youth sports component at the Koreatown Youth Community Center (KYCC) in partnership with Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA).
Speakers included Nix, Mark Goldman, Schwan’s Consumer Brands vice president of Communications and Sports Partnerships, Joong Hee Yoo, CJ Foods Ethnic Sales Division vice president of Sales, Heather Hutt, L.A. City councilwoman for the 10th District, Holly Mitchell, L.A. County Supervisor, and Jonas Never, the muralist.
Jabbar spoke to the audience regarding the mural. “It’s really wonderful to see this mural, although I’m a little bit jealous that Kobe got two images, and me and Magic are over there on the side like that,” he kidded. “The image is extraordinary. Thank you, it’s a real pleasure to be a part of this and to know efforts are expanding.”
Jabbar mentioned his involvement with previous benevolent efforts of the Lakers organization and sees the impact made on young people. “If you haven’t seen it, I have. The fruit of our good work is the young people who are smiling and doing good things with their lives,” said the UCLA graduate, who mentioned his foundation’s interest in helping create future engineers and scientists.
Nix spoke of the importance of giving back and acknowledged bibigo and the community partners involved. “We didn’t want just to unveil the beautiful mural, we wanted to do something to create a lasting impact in the Korean community,” she said. Nix recognized organizations HOLA and KYCC as being a dynamic duo of positive impact in Koreatown.
The event included a bibigo food truck, desserts, giveaway items and other fun activities focused on giving back to youth and community, a health and wellness clinic from the Lakers Youth Foundation that focused on fun drills. “Whether they want to be the next Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, or the President, [fitness] is key for them,” said Youth Foundation staff Morgan “Coach Mo” Fennell.
Lakers legends, Green, Horry, Worthy, and Jabbar, of 80s and 90s fame, strolled around the campus, participated in photo ops, and interacted with adoring fans while interviewing with media, such as ESPN. Worthy and Green stopped by the bibigo food truck, sampling some of the tasty dishes that make the Lakers’ community partner a top global Korean cuisine brand.
“The Lakers Youth Foundation is investing and providing resources in some of our most underserved communities and creating life-changing opportunities for our youth. Their future is made brighter by the purple and gold!” said.