Nayyir Qutubuddin, a recent Case Western Reserve graduate, is like many Cleveland basketball fans: He wants LeBron James to remain with the Cavs.
But instead of complaining about the issue, he decided to do something about it. He and a group of friends from Case Western Reserve and Cleveland Institute of Art recently painted the Spirit Wall behind Thwing Center with a heartfelt message to James.
“LeBron is, as [stated] on the old Ohio license plates, ‘The Heart of it All,’" said Qutubuddin. “As a die-hard Cavaliers fan and Cleveland native, it has been frustrating listening to and watching all of the hype around the free agency of 2010. People around the United States are sending messages to LeBron to leave Cleveland. I wanted to do something for Cleveland,” he added.
Qutubuddin and several of his Ultimate Frisbee buddies spent five hours hand painting the billboard. The graphic design was created by CIA student Liz Cohen. All ten of the “witnesses” included their handprints and signatures in the corner.
“The ultimate goal is for LeBron to take notice, or to at least see it on the web, in print, on TV or in person,” Qutubuddin said. “I want LeBron to stay in Cleveland, but I understand the possibility of him leaving. I didn’t want to regretfully look back on this summer without saying ‘I tried.’”
The group’s efforts have already received local news coverage on WEWS Channel 5.
Qutubuddin added that the Ultimate Frisbee group wants the basketball star to consider his northeast Ohio roots and to “Choose Loyalty.”
The billboard is most easily seen from Bellflower Road facing south, and will remain on display until another campus group paints over the design.
The Ultimate Frisbee “witnesses” are:
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