In memory of Kobe Bryant

This past weekend, a legend passed, along with his daughter and seven others. Kobe Bryant was an inspiration to our generation and his death will be remembered.

On Sunday, January 26, 2020, just before 10 a.m. (PT), former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna (Gigi) died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on their way to a youth basketball event at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks. 

Along with the Bryants, seven others perished in the crash.  

Kobe will be remembered as an NBA icon and one of the greatest players in time, achieving great feats including being a five-time NBA champion, an 18-time All-Star, the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history (33,643), and much more. 

He was not only a legend on the court but he was an inspiration to all— players, teammates, and fans. He was a true leader in every aspect. 

NBA players wanted nothing more than respect from the Mamba (a nickname for Kobe in the basketball world) himself. 

What makes this tragic accident even sadder is that Bryant’s daughter Gigi, just thirteen years young, was with him in the helicopter. She was a great kid, with dreams of carrying on her father’s legacy.

When word of Bryant’s death first surfaced, it was hard to believe and it spread throughout the country fast. 

And it seemed to hit teens and young adults the hardest. Our generation has viewed Bryant as a role model. He encouraged people to work hard and inspired people with what he had to say about the game and how it applied to life. 

“What I liked about Kobe was his constant work ethic. He taught me, along with plenty of other people, how to strive towards greatness and have that ‘Mamba mentality,” Sophomore Cole Rogers said.

He took everything that was thrown his way, good or bad, as a new opportunity to do good and he encouraged everyone around him to make the most of what they were given. 

NBA players with games that Sunday night took 24-second shot clock violations at the start of their games to pay respect to a fallen player. Atlanta Hawk’s player Trae Young even wore a jersey with the number eight (one of Bryant’s numbers throughout his career) on his back that night. 

In the fallout of the tragedy, fans gathered around the Staples Center, Bryant’s mural in LA, and their family and friends to his death. 

“He held everyone to a higher standard. His death is very depressing but also very inspiring because it makes you realize how short life is and to work hard for everything just like Kobe did,” sophomore Kyle Klett said.

Growing up, many young ballers have looked up to Bryant and mirrored his game, wanting nothing more than to play like him. 

He wasn’t just another player on the court. Bryant was different and brought a fire that no other player did. 

“I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.” -Kobe Bryant.