In Honor of Kobe Bryant

Jiana Barrera, Courier Staff

Kobe Bryant was not just an amazing basketball player, but he was a great inspiration for many Americans across the world.

He achieved greatness because he focused his willpower on one goal, to become a great basketball player. Not only did Bryant improve more and more in basketball, but he also became a true hero that many fans looked up to. After 18 All-Star selections, two NBA finals most valuable player awards, five championship rings, two Olympic gold medals, and over 20 seasons of playing, Bryant decided to retire in 2016. Bryant’s legacy did not stop on the court that day. Soon after his retirement, his daughter Gianna Bryant, also known as Gigi, fell in love with the game of basketball. Gianna’s love for the game of basketball transcended after watching her father play for years. Gigi’s overall goal was to play for the WNBA when she grew up and planned to continue her father’s legacy after his retirement. Kobe began coaching his 13-year-old daughter and eventually formed “Team Mamba”.

On January 26, 2020, Gianna, Kobe, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Ara Zobayan, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli and John Altobelli died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. His wife Vanessa Bryant and Kobe’s three other daughters were not on the board during the crash. According to People magazine, “He and Vanessa had a deal that they would never fly on a helicopter together”. Although there was no elaboration of this deal, many believe that most couples avoid flying together in case something like this would happen. Not only is the victim’s family mourning from this tragic accident, but so is the entire nation and fans of Kobe. Everyone around the world is gathering during this difficult time and honoring the lives of all victims. From the massive groups of people chanting Kobe, the Empire state building lighting up purple and gold, postponing the Lakers game, the murals painted in Los Angeles, and all the love and support throughout social media. The families of the victims are feeling so much support during this tragic time in the community. After Vanessa’s heartbreaking post on Instagram, she asks from the fans and many people mourning from the deaths of these nine victims to donate to the MambaOnThree Foundation. This fund will help support the other families affected by this tragedy. Although the legend himself was taken from us too soon, I believe that his legacy will live on forever.

Kobe was not only a great team player, but he was someone that many people looked up to. He adored his family, teammates and friends. His love for the game of basketball was indescribable and he sets an amazing example that if you put your mind to something, anything is possible.