GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Imagine Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki as 30 feet tall instead of 7 feet tall...
Soon, that will be a reality.
Dallas artist Juan Velazquez is in the midst of painting an enormous mural of four Dallas sports stars; Nowitzki, Luka Doncic, Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott.
On that solemn October day when Prescott writhed in pain on the turf of AT&T Stadium with a season-ending ankle injury...which has since thrown the Dallas Cowboys into disarray ... Velazquez's creativity was sparked, with the desire for his mural to bring the community together and rally positivity for Prescott.
"When Prescott got hurt ... We wanted to show support, both me and the owners of AJ's Body Shop," said Velazquez, speaking from Grand Prairie. "We wanted Prescott to see it and hopefully make him happy or make him feel like 'you are not alone, we haven't given up on you.'"
A member of Prescott's family reached out to Velazquez to thank him and let him know that Prescott would indeed see it.
The mural is so tall, Velazquez has to use a lift. Any given day, 50-300 people come out to watch him paint and even more tune in on social media. In a COVID-19 world where many cannot visit museums, public art is sacred.
"In a time where social issues can be dividing people, it's good to bring people together (with art)," Velazquez said. "Just like sports. There is a lot of people that have different views but we get behind the same team. We need more of that. We need more things that unite people."
Velazquez loves that his work brings people together. The project is even more special for the artist because of the subjects.
"Dirk is one of my favorite players of all time," Velazquez said. "I remember watching when they won the NBA championship. I remember watching it with my dad like it was yesterday."
"I've always loved the Mavericks."
Velazquez, who is also a soldier in the Army, has had a busy seven months, completing more than 30 murals across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
His newest mural is on the side of AJ's body shop on West Jefferson Street in Grand Prairie. You can stop by to see it in person or follow Velazquez on Instagram for updates.