With the sudden death of Kobe Bryant, retired shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, and his daughter Gianna Bryant, who was an upcoming basketball player, comes broken hearts and loss of words for all those who were impacted by his legacy. Bryant inspired a generation of basketball players in the art of competitiveness and hard work all over the world. His popularity in many countries helped allow him to motivate and encourage people in not only basketball but in everything they do.
Kobe Bryant entered the NBA straight out of high school, and went on to become the youngest All-Star in NBA history at 19. He won five NBA championships as well as the 2008 MVP Award with the Lakers. In December 2014, he exceeded Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA all-time scoring list. His long list of accomplishments don’t just include basketball because in 2018, Bryant earned an Academy Award for Best animated short film for Dear Basketball. Bryant’s many basketball accolades encouraged many of his fans to strive for excellence in the competitive sport.
“I was actually from the ’96 class with Kobe Bryant and had the chance to see him play back in high school,” said Coach Gilbert “20 years later we found out he was one of the greatest players to ever play the game.”
After Bryant retired he continued to pursue his love for basketball in impacting his community. He participated in many philanthropic works that benefited children interested in basketball. Works including raising money and awareness for war in Darfur, becoming a celebrity supporter of Cathy’s Kids, donating books to Lebron’s Jame’s I Promise School charity, and many more.
“Kobe’s influence changed my coaching style because I got to witness first hand how hard he worked and what he put into it”, said Coach Gilbert “It made me want to teach my players to put in the same not so flashy work ethic that he practiced”.
From partnering with the nonprofit After-School All-Stars to running an annual basketball summer camp, Bryant influenced hard work and encouraged the art of dedication in the hearts as well as the minds of many children. Off the court, he spread positive messages on a wide variety of topics to influence the next generation as well as give kids an opportunity to be creative in anything they do while putting them in a safe environment.
“Kobe’s impact influenced me to play hard and work harder every game,” said Shannon Robinson “I’ve learned to fight for my team and be an even better leader.”
He promoted academic success and encouraged children to set goals and achieve them through his program called After School All Stars. Bryant pushed every last drop of greatness out of himself and pushed others to do the same. He was the type of character to make others around him better which not only benefited as a whole but earned the respect of his competitors.
“If we can unite people who are willing to take a stand, miracles can happen” once said Kobe Bryant, “Together we have the power to save the world.”