Students react to death of Kobe Bryant

February 4, 2020

NBC

Kobe Bean Bryant was born August 23, 1978, and was became known best to be one of the top chasers to Michael Jordan. 41 years lateron January 26, The Black Mamba, along with his 13 year old daughter, Gianna, and 7 other passengers, boarded a private helicopter headed to Calabasas, California for the girls’ basketball tournament. Tragically, the foggy air distracted the pilot’s route and onboard safety devices were not working caused the helicopter to crash, killing everyone on board. As the world mourns in agony after NBA legend’s dreadful death, two BASH students reflect on Bryant’s passing and how he’s impacted their lives. 

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Sports world devastated at loss of international hero

ESPN.com

As a kid playing basketball, Kobe Bryant was everything. From arguing that he’s GOAT, to shaping my game after his, to yelling “Kobe!” after throwing a paper ball into the trash. His sudden and horrific death is a shock and nightmare for the sports universe. 

When I heard the news, I couldn’t believe it. With today’s media, it’s easy for information to be misconstrued and made up. Why would I believe it? Kobe Bryant dead at 41? That’s impossible. But as more and more stories were publsihed, my shock turned to grief. My eyes started to tear up with the thought of everyone’s hero being gone forever. 

My mind went straight to my first memory of basketball. I was laying on the recliner at my babysitter’s house with her two kids. I was about to fall asleep when I saw two jerseys that stuck out to me. Number 6 and Number 24: Kobe and Lebron. Later that month, my parents asked what sports I wanted to play, and basketball was my first choice. Although I was always a Lebron first kinda-guy, Kobe’s game and his “Mamba Mentality” shaped my work ethic to this day.

It’s a dark time for basketball. Every team has taken significant moments of silence, honoring his name with every basket, and playing together. Kobe Bryant’s memory will live forever in our hearts, and everytime we yell “KOBE!” while throwing trash in the can, his spirit and impact will grow.

 

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One of the goats is gone: Remembering the impact of Kobe Bryant

When I was a teenager, my ADHD insisted that standing in an outfield, waiting for a baseball to be hit in my direction was not going to work. One day, I while I was bored on YouYube, I was watching different basketball videos, and I came across Damien Lillard vs Kobe Bryant. Watching the young rookie, Lillard, test his skills against one of the all time greats who was in the final leg of his career. Kobe, regardless of Lillard battling with 30 points, still showed why he was one of the greats by dropping 30 plus of his own and winning the game. After that , all my youtube history was basketball highlights, from player highlights to historic videos of the game to tutorial videos on how to perform certain moves. Because of Bryant, I fell in love with the game. The NBA style and vibe was something I became so fascinated and interested in that I wanted to learn everything.

Even though my dreams were big, my talent was small. As I struggled to find motivation to keep improing my game and work on my skills, I continued to watch documentaries on my idol as well as interviews of him speaking on determination and the work he had to put in. He taught me not see my problems and disadvantages as excuses, but just as obstacles I can overcome. Not only in basketball, but in life Bryant has taught me that my attitude and confidence are keys every successful person has. Watching him perform, it is evident he was willing to do anything to win, and I looked up to that “mamba mentality”.

When I heard the news of his passing, I was at work. I felt my stomach turn, and it felt like I wasn’t in my body the rest of that shift. I just couldn’t believe it.

I was able to make through the rush, but on my drive home, I shed tears for the first time in a long time. His death woke me up. It’s made me do a complete 180 and realize I need to appreciate my life and the people around me, and to embrace the struggle. “To wake up and to strive to be a better person than you were before”. That was Kobe’s definition of the mamba mentality. 

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