Remembering a Legend

Kobe Bryant and Eight Others Killed in Helicopter Crash


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Kobe Bryant, Lakers shooting guard, stands ready to shoot a free throw at a past pre-season game against the Golden State Warriors. After his tragic demise January 26, 2020, fans were left with only memories of his legendary ability.

Izabel Vazquez and Daniella Carrasco

On the morning of January, 26, 2020, social media posts began circulating in regards to the passing of basketball superstar, Kobe Bryant. 

TMZ, a popular tabloid news-site, was the first to report Bryant’s death. Fans were instantly struck with grief, and many weren’t entirely sure if they should believe the news and social media buzz because so little information was released at first. 

Seventh grader Garrett Flora explained that, “When I was first told, I was only told that ‘Kobe died,’ and nothing about how, so I thought it was fake.” 

Sophomore Zinnia Banks explains her initial reaction to the news, “I thought it was a sick joke at first. I didn’t even hear about it until my brother told me his phone was blowing up with messages from his friends. It was just a huge shock. I didn’t want to believe it.” 

When more information was released at a press conference in Los Angeles, officials said that the helicopter carrying nine passengers, including Bryant and his 13 year old daughter, Gianna, crashed due to “unknown circumstances,” according to a Federal Aviation Administration statement to Fox News. 

The news spread quickly, and soon enough it was nationwide news, posts remembering Kobe and his legacy were everywhere. 

Bryant, who retired from his 20 years playing in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers, won five titles and two Olympic gold medals. His great achievements on the court have inspired and will continue to inspire not only basketball players, but athletes of any sport. 

Freshman Crystal Salazar Hernandez, a fan of Bryant, described her grief over the loss of a man she referred to as a king. “I was a fan of his since he was #8 on the court. He was the first man I ever looked up to.” Kobe inspired many basketball players to start their journey on the court, including Hernandez. “Kobe’s always been an inspiration to me on and off the court. He was the reason I found a love for basketball. I’ve been on the court for 3 years now. I’ll never pick up a basketball without remembering the king and his beautiful daughter, Gigi.” 

Junior Reshman Amin was also in shock at the passing of Gianna Bryant. “The future was bright for her. She was so passionate, like her dad, and it’s so sad to see her pass when she’s so young with so much potential.”

With the passing of Bryant and his daughter, many fans experienced heartache, as he affected their lives in ways they couldn’t even describe. The truth is, Kobe moved many. 

Banks spoke about Bryant’s influence in her family: “He was a person my brothers and I bonded over. It was like losing an inspiration to all of us.” 

Junior Kajal Bhangu began watching basketball because her dad was a Kobe Bryant fan, and being a basketball player herself, she remembers Bryant’s compassion. “I think the greatest thing is that he was an amazing father and had such support for women’s sports.”

Bryant’s influence extended beyond the court. He lived by a philosophy referred to as the Mamba Mentality, and many of his fans adopted it as well. Hernandez describes the mamba mentality as, “It was to always strive to do the best you can do in everything and in life. It was about not letting anyone stop you, keeping up the hustle for no one but yourself.”

Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa Laine Bryant, their three daughters, and millions of fans and supporters worldwide.

Please share your Kobe Bryant stories with us in the comments below.