Kelly Purwanto: Still wants more tattoos

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Kelly Purwanto has a regular tattoo artist in Surabaya. (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – Claiming to have at least one hundred tattoos on his body, Kelly Purwanto, star player from basketball club Amartha Hangtuah, says he isn’t hesitant to add more. 

“(I) will look for more again, which parts of my body can still be tattooed,” he said, smiling in between the signing of cooperation between Amartha Hangtuah and Mekari event in Ayana Mid Plaza, Jakarta, Monday, October 28. 

Kelly has a regular tattoo artist in Surabaya. “Maybe if the Indonesian Basketball League holds a series in Surabaya, I will contact him and ask to be tattooed,” he said. He is reluctant to change tattoo artists. “I’m already a regular with him. It’s quite nice,” he explained. 

Kelly had his first tattoo done in college in STIE Perbanas. “When in college (I) received a scholarship and got an allowance. I had my first tattoo on my back. I felt satisfied but there were protests from my parents. I explained to my parents that I liked them and they accepted my reasons,” he remembers. Since then, he has continued to get more and more tattoos, especially when playing in Surabaya. One of his favorite tattoos is one of lips on his neck. “Actually, all of the tattoos on my body are my favorite but these lips get a lot of questions, they think they are real lip marks,” he said. 

The lip tattoo is inspired by a tattoo on former NBA star Kenyon Martin. “I saw the tattoo on Kenton Martin’s neck and thought it was cute so I wanted to have one,” he said. 

“Tattoos have to have meaning, because they are permanent. So, they have to be thought of carefully for the future.” 

Kelly’s journey in professional basketball has already spanned 15 years. He is now the most senior player in Amartha Hangtuah and guides the younger players on the team. Although he isn’t young anymore, there is still no doubting Kelly’s ball handling. 

Starting his career in Satria Muda, Kelly then moved to Kalila, Garuda, Pelita Jaya, Hangtuah, SIliwanti, and then back to Hangtuah. “My and Hangtuah’s target this season is to make it to the semifinals,” he said. 

We will have to wait and see what tattoo Kelly Purwanto will get next. (rp)