(Eileen Blass, USAT)
Kobe Bean Bryant, 6’6 shooting guard, Lower Merion…
Author: Chelsea Chambers
Born August 23, 1978, he would become a household name, a hoop legend and a hero. That little boy from Philadelphia, PA, would eventually create the striking alter-ego better known as The Black Mamba, going down as one of greatest basketball players to ever play the game.
Kobe’s talent was pure and his dedication to the game was undefeated. He showed up to practice with a broken right hand dressed in his pajamas. Instead of staying home and healing, he went to the gym and practiced drills using his left hand. Photos of that practice still circulate on various social media platforms and the message is clear: You can’t out work me. Kobe’s “Mamba Mentality” is what set him apart from the competition. He trained differently, he intensified his focus and put so much work into the way he prepared himself for battle.
This mentality quickly took over the sports world and has been adopted and used in people’s everyday lives. His determination to be his best self on and off the court is what many people looked up to. He was a hero for children growing up because who didn’t want to shoot the ball like Kobe? It was Kobe Bean Bryant that dropped 81 points on the Raptors in ‘06. It was Kobe Bean Bryant that made kids yell out “KOBE” while pulling up from behind their desks, sinking a rolled up piece of notebook paper in the trash can. It was Kobe’s influence that grabbed the attention of many young basketball players, pushing them to pursue their own dreams. And it was Kobe, his daughter Gianna and seven other precious souls that made the world stop, cry and come together on January 26, 2020.
The tragic loss of an icon is never easy, especially when they are loved so deeply by many. For days, fans gathered all over the world to pay their respect wearing both numbers 8 and 24 to honor Bryant. Tributes rolled in for the beloved Laker legend including a special magazine from ESPN. The magazine highlights the life and career of Kobe Bryant. Fans will see a variety of things including photographs of Bryant during his career and writings.
Continue to love one another, continue to follow your dreams and keep that Mamba Mentality. Honor yourself, and Kobe by being the best version of yourself. Never stop working on your craft and never stop believing you are who you think you are.