Local artist recalls transforming Kobe Bryant Gymnasium with mosaic

LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Jonathan Mandell, a local artist who specializes in mosaics, was commissioned by Lower Merion High School in 2010 to create a mosaic of Kobe Bryant.

The artwork now hangs in the gymnasium that bears Bryant's name.

Mandell reflected on the commissioned piece with Action News on Sunday night after news surfaced of the NBA star's death.

Authorities say nine people were killed in a helicopter crash in California. ABC News sources confirm Bryant, his daughter, and seven others were all killed.

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Brian Taff reports on the 2010 dedication of the Kobe Bryant Gymnasium at Lower Merion High School

Mandell, a Lower Merion High School graduate himself, says it was truly an honor to share the same alma mater as Bryant.

Mandell was there for the mosaic dedication in 2010 and got to meet Bryant.

"I was so taken back by the gentleness and humbleness of his nature. He wasn't at all abrupt with us. He took his time and we chatted. We fumbled around to find the iPhone so we could take the picture. In the moment he was just very low key and sweet and I will always remember that," recalls Mandell.
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