A Legend Never Dies

Julianna Colado, Co-Sports Editor

As most sports fans know, the recent one  year memorial for beloved basketball legend, Kobe Bean Bryant, was this past January 26th. At the start of 2020, Kobe fans around the world were struck with the heartbreaking news of the death of a lifelong idol and athletic inspiration Kobe Bryant. The tragedy took place during a helicopter crash on the hillside of Los Angeles. Bryant and his daughter Giana Bryant along with seven other passengers who were also on the plane at the time of its crash. 

Kobe Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team all 20 years of his athletic career, he quickly became one of the most looked up to sports stars of all time. Kobe was not only extraordinary with his athletic abilities, but was also a friend to many youth pursuing athletic careers. Kobe was awarded NBA Most Valuable Player in 2008, NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in 2009 and 2010, Best NBA Player ESPY Award in 2008 and 2010, NBA Sportsman of the Year in 2008, 2003, and 2002, and the list continues. 

Kobe’s career in the NBA was inspiring and jaw-dropping with his continuous outstanding performances each game but, his childhood story and background are just as inspiring. 

Bryant was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Growing up with his father playing professional basketball, Bryant became exposed to the competitive atmosphere of athletics starting at a young age. At the age of six, Bryant’s father left the NBA and moved his family to Reiti, Italy to continue playing professional basketball. Growing up in Italy, Bryant became fluent in Italian. After moving back to Philadelphia, he attended Lower Merion High School. Bryant gained national recognition when he was awarded Pennsylvania Player of the Year. During high school, he averaged 31.1 points, 10,4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists a game. Directly out after high school Bryant declared himself eligible for the NBA draft, becoming one of the youngest NBA players in history during the 1996-97 season. He started off at the 13th pick in the 1996 NBA draft with the Charlotte Hornets and was quickly traded to the Lakers where he became the youngest All-Star player in the NBA All-Star Game. 

Outside of the court Bryant married Vanessa Bryant and had four girls including Capri, Blanka, Natalia, and Gianna Bryant. 

Although Kobe’s life may have ended in a tragedy, his legendary life story continues to inspire  youth as they dream to walk in the same footsteps Bryant left for them. One year ago a hero may have passed, but his spirit remains loved and remembered by all.