WHEN HE was building out his passion project, Kris Rosales couldn't help but remember a more innocent time.
“My time as a child… It was an innocent life. We were all kids living life and not tainted by modern society,” Rosales shared with SPIN Life.
During the pandemic, the Fil-American guard got to work on the Creative Hoop Project (CHP), a distinct community in Los Angeles, California, formed from an intersection of basketball, skate, and coffee culture.
It's also a homage to his own childhood, growing up in California.
"I often thought about the good times I had skating with the neighborhood kids on the street I grew up on," Rosales recalled. "It didn’t matter if we were good or not, what mattered was the fact that we hung out everyday until the street lights went on. We sat on the curbs tired from the sun and talked about whatever was on our mind.”
But while skate was a big part of his childhood, baskketball has always been Rosales' first love, especially since it introduced him to one of his life's biggest influences: Kobe Bryant.
Rosales continued: “I believe basketball in its purest form is when you play as a child on the black top. There is no money involved, no politics, nothing but pure joy and wanting to win. Mimicking moves you see from Kobe, and just plainly having fun.”
Of course, coffee didn't come into the equation until much later. But it's since become an inseparable part of his life.
“There is coffee. It came from my time as an adult here in Manila, it has a community that only coffee drinkers can understand,” he said. “These are the things I tried to mesh together to create the Creative Hoop Project.”
Kris Rosales creates a safe space for ideas and sports
In the CHP community, there is an open space for people to share more about themselves, their interests, and all the mundane things they find fascinating.
Discussions aren’t just done verbally, but also visually, through creating art and catering to certain causes and initiatives.
“We try to tell stories through our projects. Every design has some sort of meaning that capture our community’s interests,” he shared. “A big part of starting CHP was because of Kobe. I saw what he did after his career, and I wanted to do the same.”
From photography, writeups, self-produced videos, to artworks, murals, and clothing collection, there is a lot of self-expression within CHP.
Its designs are done by Ateneo Women’s Basketball Team standout and fine arts student, Joanne Nimes.
“She is super dope. We just usually gather information from current events and whatever we have in mind. Joanna will come up with the content throughout the week, and I will chime in,” Rosales said.
Moreover, CHP is fueled by his goal to pay homage to the sport and practitioners of the field, current, and the past.
“Discipline from being an athlete has played a major role in my life. It has taught me to always have a routine. I’m a big routine guy and I believe it helps me stay on top of things whether in hoops or life, in general,” he shared.
By selling merchandise, CHP was able to contribute to a few charitable initiatives that focused on giving back to the local community.
“Our ‘Project Bean’ was bale to raise $1,500 in five days for a coffee shop in Los Angeles that was having trouble staying afloat during the pandemic. They were great people and they were big Kobe fans. They had a [cash] register with a big Kobe sticker that got stolen, so we wanted to help them replace that,” he said.
Currently in the PH, the 30-year-old guard is also working to expand CHP into Manila after he recently signed a one-season contract with the NLEX Road Warriors last week.
Basketball may be his life’s work at the moment, but Kris Rosales also aims to pays it forward and build the same community spirit that reared his own love for both sports and art.
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