Celebrating Kobe’s Life and the Legacy He Left Behind

Kobe Bryant, father, husband and NBA champion, along with 13-year old daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter accident with six other passengers and the pilot on the way to his daughter’s travel game early Sunday. Bryant was 41.

“Kobe Bryant inspired majority of professional basketball players today,” Michael Vanderhoff ‘21 said. “He inspired others through his work ethic and created a standard for others to look up to.”

Bryant was known as an athlete with one of the strongest work ethics.

According to Inc. article,” This one quote from Kobe Bryant is all you need to know about his success” (Dec. 19, 2017) by Matt Given, “Bryant would show up for 7 a.m. practices at 5 a.m. After high school practices, he would make teammates stay to play games of one-on-one to 100. He routinely outworked the NBA’s best players. During the run-up to the 2008 Olympics, he did full predawn workouts before official practices started.”

A five-time NBA champion, Bryant was known for his famous turnaround jumper and his famous nickname, the Black Mamba (considered one of the deadliest snakes). Bryant made the All-Star game 18 times in his 20-year career, led the NBA in scoring twice, and won the MVP in 2008.

“When you think of respect and hard work, you think of Kobe Bryant,” Joseph Hanna ’20 said.

Bryant went straight from high school to the NBA, drafted by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick of the 1996 draft, making him the youngest NBA player in history at age 17. Bryant was then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for veteran center Vlade Divac.

“I feel we lost an influential guy,” Domonic Salha ’22 said. “Kobe was more than basketball.”

Bryant helping in the L.A. community impacted many in need.

According to a Fox News article, “Celtics Star Enes Kanter: Kobe Bryant – more than a basketball player” (Jan. 28) by Enes Kanter, “His activities in the community took basketball to a different level. It taught all of us that our game is more than just playing basketball. He inspired millions of kids all around the world to be their best self both on and off-court.”

According to a WorldPress article, “Kobe Bryant on hard work” (Aug. 21, 2012) “I try to show my daughters that you have to compete at everything,” Bryant said. “You can’t back down. I want my kids to understand that so when somebody puts an obstacle in front of you and say you can’t do something; you don’t back down.”

Bryant coached his daughters after his career was over in 2016 and valued being a father. Bryant was proud to be the father of his girls. He not only practiced what he preached, but raised his daughters to know the importance of hard work as well.

Kobe Bryant will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of its 2020 class.

“Kobe role in basketball paved the way for players today,” Trevor James ‘20 said. “Many players grew up watching him so to them he was the inspiration and the person they shaped their game after. Even if you did not watch basketball you knew who Kobe Bryant was.”