In Memoriam: Kobe Bryant

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The Black Mamba. When you hear that name, only one person comes to mind. Kobe Bryant. On Sunday morning in Calabasas, California, Kobe, 41, was one of nine people killed in a helicopter crash. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also among the victims. He leaves behind his wife Vanessa Bryant and his kids Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.

His shocking death left many speechless. All across social media, from celebrities and athletes to avid fans, many people shared their heartfelt messages of mourning. Within a couple of hours, Kobe was trending worldwide on Twitter with over 3 million tweets honoring him.

Even here at Timpview, Kobe’s death has hit hard. Junior and Timpview basketball player Jacob Gates said, “Growing up I would turn on the TV and watch Kobe play. He was more than a great basketball player but an example of elite commitment and dedication. It’s truly devastating that one of the best to ever play the game of basketball is no longer with us. Rest in paradise Kobe 💛💜” Senior Nigel Laughlin added, “He was a great ball player, one of the best to walk on the court. And, he was also a gentleman because of all the foundations he started and lives he helped changed. I would believe that he was a good husband and a great father… He was one of my inspirations and he inspired many people.”

In an NBA career that lasted two decades—all with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe became a five time NBA champion, earning two NBA Finals MVP, while also becoming an allstar eighteen times. But it’s also the things he did off the court that contributed to his life’s success. With the same “mamba mentality” he attacked on the court with, he turned his attention and drive towards things like becoming an investor, investing in companies like Body Armor and Epic Games (his firm has more than $2 billion in assets), while also winning an Academy Award for his short film “Dear Basketball”. In the community, Kobe inspired youth through his Nike line as well as through his Mamba League and sports academy, which gave hundreds of young kids free access to sports.

Kobe was an inspiration, both on and off the court and that’s something we will never forget. So the next time we shoot something into the trash and say, “Kobe!” it’ll hit different. But it will be a reminder that his legacy and inspiration reached heights not even he could’ve imagined. Rest easy Kobe.