The Legend Lives On


On Sunday, January 26, people all around the globe had to say goodbye to one of the most talented and well-known basketball players in the NBA. Kobe Bryant (41) and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were flying in a helicopter to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, when suddenly the pilot lost control and the helicopter went up in flames when it crashed. Seven others also lost their lives in the tragic crash: John Altobelli (56), Keri Altobelli (46), Alyssa Altobelli (13), Christina Mauser (38), Ara Zobayan (50), Sarah Chester (45), and Payton Chester (13).

Kobe Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 years. He directly entered the NBA from high school and won five NBA championships. He was an 18-time All-Star and a 15-time member of the All-Defensive team.  Bryant also earned gold metals as a leader of the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic basketball team. In 2008, he also helped spur the Redeem Team to gold in Beijing, along with being named as MVP for the American team.  

Bryant was also the coach of his daughter Gianna’s basketball team. Despite her young age, she had hoop dreams, hoping to one day for the University of Connecticut and she wasn’t shy about pointing out that she could more than fulfill any lingering dreams that her father had. His plans for her future were very clear. Less than a month before the deadly crash took place, Bryant had filed a trademark application with the US Patent and Trademark office, seeking ownership of “Mambacita,” a clear reference of his own nickname “Black Mamba”. 

When Bryant and his daughters life came to a tragic ending, he not only left his millions of fans all across the world but also his family. He left behind his wife Vanessa and his three other daughters, Natalia (17), Bianka (3) and his youngest daughter Capri (7 months old). His wife Vanessa said that she can’t even finish a single sentence without breaking into tears, but she is doing her best to keep it together for the girls. She thought of him as her partner for life and that you can never prepare for something like this.

As the world mourns the death of such a beloved athlete and person, let us not forget all the things outside his basketball career.  Bryant had supported several charities and foundations. Some of them were the After-School All Stars, Cathy’s Kids Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Stand up to Cancer. 

Bryant was known for his determination and perseverance.  One of Bryant’s most known quotes is “The moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win.”

Photo Credit: ABC News