Kobe Bryant, one of the most well-known names in the sports world. Known as one of the greatest basketball players to ever play, Kobe Bryant was an influence on people worldwide. On Sunday, January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and 7 others passed away in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. TMZ was the first to break the news, and it caused shockwaves across the nation. Celebrities, Sports players, and countless people all gave their condolences. Influential people like former teammate Shaquille O’ Neal wrote multiple heartfelt paragraphs on Instagram, speaking about his best friend. In the NBA, all of the games played on Sunday started with a 24-second shot clock violation or an 8-second backcourt violation in honor of the late great.
Kobe Bryant was also an influence on many people at MBHS, whether it be about how they play basketball, or how they wake up with Mamba Mentality. Junior Aaron Brengle is as big of a Kobe fan as you can get. He said, “Kobe was my Idol, he was the reason I fell in love with Basketball. He is my favorite player of all time, and when he passed on Sunday, I was devastated. Because of him, I make sure to work hard and push myself to the limit every day. He was a huge influence on me, he was my idol. Being a huge Lakers fan, I just fell in love with him, the way he played, and the way he worked.” He then said his favorite Kobe moment of all time was when he had 81 points against the Raptors, and his final game when he dropped 60 points. Next, Jonathan Sze, a Warriors fan, said, “He was more than a team leader, he was more than basketball. He was big to me, personally. Like my father had with Michael Jordan, I had with Kobe Bryant, growing up. He inspired me to play the game of basketball. My style of play was basically based around how he played. Although I don’t play guard, I still want to be able to play the way he did.” When asked about his favorite Kobe Bryant moment, Jonathan said, “His final game in 2016. I am a Warriors fan, and Kobe’s last game was the same time as the Warriors were trying to get their 73rd win. Rather than watching my favorite team break the Bulls record, I watched Kobe’s final game, simply because of the fact that he changed the game forever.”
Kobe Bryant was a once in a lifetime talent, but basketball was not all he was known for. He loved being a dad, and more importantly, a dad of four daughters: Natalia, Bianka, Capri, and Gianna, who passed away in the crash. Gianna was a fantastic basketball player, and at the age of 13, she already had a guaranteed basketball scholarship to UCONN. Gianna was an inspiration to girls around the world, as she showed you can play basketball, despite the expectation of others.
Kobe was an inspiration, an idol, a father, and a role model. Kobe Bryant’s work ethic will be known as one of the best ever. He would go out and shoot baskets, even if injured. He inspired children, adults, even elders, to be the best person they could possibly be. He inspired people to play basketball, no matter their age. Kobe will go down as not just a basketball player, but as a hero to many. Kobe Bryant: gone, but not forgotten.