On the Basketball court, Steven Adams is an imposing figure no doubt. But a New Zealand artist is taking that to a whole new level by painting a huge mural of Adams downtown on the side of the Paramount Building.
The artist, Graham Hoete, known as “Mr. G” down under, came to the states to paint a portrait of “Prince in Minneapolis”.
“I’ll only really paint people who have impacted or inspired me in a real way,” said Hoete.
Hoete is a full time artist who lives in Sydney, Australia.
“I like doing murals because it’s a public space to visually communicate,” said Hoete.
But he's actually from the same part of New Zealand as Steven Adams.
“He’s pretty much from the same home town as myself in New Zealand, and I thought I'm coming all the way to the US it would be a shame for me not to do a mural of Steven Adams while I'm here” said Hoete. “The connection is really because he’s Kiwi, he’s a New Zealander. New Zealand is a small country but we’re very tight and we celebrate each other’s successes you know.”
But in this case such a celebration would take a very big wall.
“Fortunately we have one and it’s tall,” said Melody Garneau who owns the Paramount Building.
“It’s a pretty imposing image isn’t is,” laughs Hoete.
Graham says in New Zealand Adams an inspiration and hero. And not just on the basketball court.
“There’s always the temptation to go down the gang-like path,” he explains. “It’s so good to see him positive and inspiring and global because it’s not just about him, it’s about the young guys in New Zealand and all the young men in New Zealand just presenting another avenue and another option really to these young guys.”
Graham says he hopes to have the mural complete by Tuesday night.
“The main purpose of why I’m doing this is a gift to Steve on behalf of myself and New Zealand. Just saying Steve, we’re right behind you man and we’re proud of you. You’re doing New Zealand Proud, yea. So that’s really why I’m doing it is a gift to Steven Adams and OKC.”
Once the mural is finished, Graham says he would like to get a group picture with a bunch of Thunder fans and he’s inviting everyone to come on down Wednesday night at 7.