On January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant passed away in an unexpected accident on his way to his daughters basketball game. His life was taken in a helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California with eight others on board. Including Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, John Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Ara Zobayan, and his 13 year old daughter Gianna Bryant.
Kobe Bryant went to Lower Merion High School, where he started his basketball journey. Bryant was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets directly out of high school in 1996 at the age of 17 years old. He was then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers where he spent majority of his career. Bryant spent half of his life playing basketball. In 2016, after 20 years with the Lakers, he retired.
Kobe Bryant has made many historic moments in his time spent in the NB. There were some that really shocked the world. On April 12, 2013 the Lakers took on the Golden State Warriors in a neck to neck game. Bryant scored two free throws after rupturing his achilles; he then walked off the court on his own without any assistance. Another historic moment Bryant made was when he scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors.
Bryant created history every time he stepped foot on the court.
“My favorite Kobe moment was when he dropped 60 points in his last game against the Utah Jazz, it was an unforgettable moment”, said Garland Sam.
Kobe Bryant spent time creating a legacy that would live on forever. He had his own shoe brand that was established under Nike. It was one of the best selling Nike basketball shoes. Bryant even won an Oscars Award for a film he starred in. Bryant didn’t just spend his time creating an image for himself, but for his family. His daughter Gianna Bryant also played basketball; fans began calling her “Mambacita” after her father, who was called “Black Mamba.” She had a bright future in basketball ahead of her. Her future was cut short, but her legacy will live on.
Kobe Bryant dedicated his time to create opportunities for kids in the community. Bryant had an annual summer basketball camp. Kids from all over the world were in attendance to be trained by the legendary Kobe Bryant. Bryant has been a faithful benefactor to the Make-A-Wish organization. He has been granting wishes since 2000. Bryant developed an institution in California called The Mamba Sports Academy. The academy was founded to give kids an opportunity to do what they love to do the most, have fun. Bryant was a caring person with a kind heart, all he did was give. He created many pathways and opportunities for children and teens, the next generation.
There was something about Bryant that made him different from any other professional athlete.
“What sets Kobe apart is that he works extremely hard and he strives for perfection; he had a mindset that no one will out work him, which was the “Mamba Mentality,” said Danny McAdory
Bryant inspired many people perfect their craft of basketball player. Not just teens, but other professional athletes.
“His hard work and passion for the game really inspired me. As I got older, I started to understand how much work he puts in; he then become one of my favorite players,” said McAdory.
Kobe Bryant impacted many people not just nationwide, but worldwide.
“Kobe impacted me in so many ways, he makes me want to work harder. I try to model my game like his, I even changed my number a few years back to 24 because I respect him so much,” said McAdory.
Kobe Bryant was not an average person, he was a role model to millions of people across the world. His love and drive for the game inspired many teens to pick up a basketball. Bryant was not just a basketball player, he was loving father. He took every chance he had to spend quality time with his daughters and his wife. As a basketball player every opportunity he got to see his daughter was a blessing to him. Kobe Bryant had a beautiful soul that changed many lives. The Mamba Mentality will never fade away, but will continue to run through the lives of many people. The name Kobe Bryant will not just be a name that it said, but it will be a legacy that will forever live on.
“In the words of Kobe Bryant, ‘Mamba out,’ but in the words of us, not forgotten”, said Lebron James at the Lakers tribute game.
May Kobe Bryant and all the victims in the helicopter crash Rest In Peace.
-By Emmanuel Okene