COVINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) - The basketball court at Covington’s Annie Hargraves Park now teems with radiant colors, as the city of Covington reports a design firm has kicked off its region-wide mural initiative with an homage to local basketball legend, George Stone.
According to the city, Stone grew up on West 10th Street near the park. He played basketball for the former William Grant High School in Covington and later for Marshall University, where he scored 22.4 points per game.
The city notes Stone continued his basketball career in the American Basketball Association, a precursor to the modern NBA, where he helped lead the Utah Stars to the 1971 ABA title.
Stone died in 1993, the city says. Fifteen years later, after a resident-led group redeveloped Annie Hargraves Park using matching grants from the R.C. Durr Foundation, the city renamed the court in his honor.
That made him a fitting subject for the court-top mural, created by local firm BLDG Refuge, Covington city officials say
BLDG Refuge Art Director Jarrod Becker said in designing the mural he wanted to represent the ‘whole idea’ of George Stone the basketball player. As such, the mural features a replica of the ABA’s iconic basketball as well as four double-edged stars to recall the Utah team for which Stone played.
The city notes Becker’s firm is partnering with Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky on the initiative.
“BLDG brought this idea to us a few months ago about using art to ‘activate’ basketball courts across Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties as a way to bring communities together in public spaces used by individuals and families alike,” Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson explained. “We were enthusiastic and lent our support because we strongly feel it would create a larger sense of pride and community across our region.”
The city says BLDG Refuge and Horizon Community Funds aim to bring many such court-top murals to the region, with more than a dozen other locations having already been discussed.