Black History Month: Kobe inspires all


IMAGE / flickr

Kobe Bryant celebrates after his 61-point game against the New York Knicks Feb. 2, 2009.

Kobe Bryant, an NBA superstar, tragically passed away Sunday, Jan. 26, leaving a legacy for fans and generations of players to remember.

Bryant’s death was shocking to many, passing away in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant.

Their death among several others caused many to grieve at the sudden passing and presented a lesson about caring for loved ones.

Junior Jo Coleman, a KHS basketball player, was upset by the news of his role model passing away.

“When I heard the news, I just broke down,” Coleman said. “I grew up watching him. I’ve studied him and his work ethic.”

The superstar was recognized as one of the best, a well known professional athlete in the NBA.

Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1996 to 2016, playing as a guard for 20 seasons.

His 20 years on the basketball court showed historical accomplishments.

From five NBA championships to leading the Lakers with an all-time score of 33,643 points, Bryant was an all-star athlete.

His famous nickname “Black Mamba” was given to reference the fastest, most lethal snake in the world.

“Black Mamba” was merited by his fluid and floaty movements that were fast and unpredictable on the court.

Bryant was an exciting player to watch on either end of the court. The 6-foot, 6-inches shooting guard was nearly unguarded in his prime, averaging 35.4 points per game throughout the 2005-2006 season.

Coleman was inspired by Bryant and tried to be like him as he grew up.

“I’ve tried to imitate and become my own version of Bryant by listening to him speak and watching him play,” Coleman said. “He makes me want to get up and improve and just keep moving forward.

“Watching him retire and do all of the good things he’s done — especially with GiGi — inspires me even more because he was able to find happiness even after basketball. It just hurts knowing that he can’t continue his legacy.”

The impact Bryant had on young basketball players will last for generations.

Junior Saniaa Walker believes that the impact Bryant had will spread, just like his passion for basketball.

“Kobe has made me want to be a better player and an even better team player,” Walker said. “He stayed in the gym every day and night and that’s all I’ve been doing lately.

“He always said to never give up on something that makes you happy no matter what others say and I’m doing that. I’ve had so many people tell me to give up basketball and go for track and field but I love basketball so I’m not going to stop working at it.”

Walker believes Bryant taught players to fear nothing and to never set limits for yourself.

“Kobe used to say that even though he was young, he would never back down to anyone and I respect that 100 percent,” Walker said. “I’ve been playing with older girls my whole life and will always have that mentality because of him.”

Bryant was more than just a basketball player. He was a father to four daughters, a husband, and a role model for countless youths.

The featured image for this story is from flickr.