By Ben Golliver
Lakers star Kobe Bryant hit the community service circuit hard this weekend, leaving a diehard fan with a one-of-a-kind memento.
Bryant partnered with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles to serve as the Honorary Chair of a 5K walk to end homelessness. More than 10,000 people showed up, and Bryant delivered an early morning speech, according to KABC-TV in Los Angeles.
"The homeless initiative is something that's kind of been put on the backburner, so we wanted to lend our name to something that needed a little light shined on it," said Bryant.
Bryant's official Facebook page is filled with pictures from the event, including one of a fan whose left upper arm is covered with a tattoo devoted to Bryant. The tattoo, which is really more like a mural, includes Bryant's "Black Mamba" nickname, his jersey No. 24, two championship rings, Bryant's Nike logo, and an image of a snake. The fan's tattoo appears to bear Bryant's signature as he proudly poses for the photograph.
A female Facebook user identifies the tattooed man as her boyfriend and writes that the tattoo was indeed autographed: "The tattoo is real. ... He was so excited and Kobe was super cool!!"
Youth homelessness in Los Angeles has been a key area of focus for the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation. The annual 5K walk has raised $2.2 million over the last five years, according to the United Way.
Hat tip: @mcten