By Cam Lucadou-Wells
A Dandenong South basketball centre has paid giant tribute to homegrown NBA star Ben Simmons.
A 5.8 metre-tall mural of Simmons was completed over four nights by an artist from MSF Sports at the HOOPS 24/7 indoor courts.
The ‘beast mode’ image exploding out of stars stands more than twice the size of the 211-centimetre guard-forward was revealed on Thursday 25 March.
The 24-year-old Simmons was raised in Box Hill before being drafted at No.1 in 2016.
He has been three times named as an NBA All-Star, represented Australia’s international Boomers side and supported a charity Helping Hoops that offers free kids’ basketball programs.
HOOPS 24/7 spokesperson Josh Henshaw said the mural would be a “motivation” for local players to get back into sport after Covid lockdowns.
“Ben is such a big profile, the biggest in Australian sport and playing at such a high level.
“The image is of him competing with his fists of purpose. It will be a motivation for players to get out there, play sport and get healthy.”
The stadium also features a tribute mural by the same MSF artist to the late LA Lakers champion Kobe Bryant.
It was completed soon after Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash in early 2020.