Kobe Bryant’s legacy lives on

Photo+Courtesy+of+Unsplash

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

It was a long day of basketball practice. He got home to watch the Lakers game against the Utah Jazz, where Kobe Bryant scored 60 points. Little did sophomore Rohit Ramaswamy know that this was his idol’s last game.

This Sunday, Jan. 26, famous NBA player Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash. There were nine vicims, including his teenage daughter. 

Bryant spent his whole career playing for the Lakers and was the number fourth all-time scorer of the league and a five-time NBA champion. From his Mamba mentality to his immense skill, his name became a terminology for a talented basketball player and his legacy will remain.

“I couldn’t believe it was real at first. He was a big mentor to a lot of people from when I was growing up. He was just one of the greatest players of all time,” junior Nicholas Bowling said.

Besides his recognition on the court, Bryant was also a role model for many people for his actions off the court. He was the official ambassador for the nonprofit organization, After-School All-Stars, which provides an after-school programs for children and also started a charity with the Chinese government, the Kobe Bryant China Fund.

A role model

“Growing up, coming home Sundays was watching NBA and NBC. When I found out about what happened to Kobe it was like a piece of my childhood had passed away. I’ve always been a Lakers fan,” math teacher Jason Wiggins said. “He’s also 41. He is a father of four and when I found out he was on his way to an AAU game with his daughter, that struck me. I might not have any kids, but I have students and just realizing that a young man and his daughter’s lives ended like that was just breaking.”

Bryant’s daughter, Gianna Onore, was only 13. She was an aspiring basketball star.

“She inspired a generation of younger girls to play basketball and dominate at that sport,” sophomore Avery Ferrera said. “She was playing levels above, even at her age, and to see her doing that, and doing well was really motivational.”

Leaving behind a legacy

The Terrier basketball team was also shocked. “It was very sad to the basketball community and the world,” junior Jalen Harris said. “He made a very big impact on the game and his work ethic and dedication impacted everybody. He inspired many to do the best. 

Senior Tyriq James was also shocked by the news and described Bryant’s death as losing a mentor and a role model. 

Not only Lakers fans suffered from the loss. Celebrities from all over the world spoke out about it with kind words towards Bryant. From soccer stars like Neymar to singers like Camila Cabello, the death of Bryant was a big shock to everyone that saw him as not just an idol, but an inspiring person that had a big impact on basketball and the world in general.

“I’ve been a Celtics fan and the Lakers are like rivals since I was a kid, math teacher Michael Welch said. “Bryant was always a big part of that cultural connection between Boston and LA in the NBA. He was always a great player and competitor so seeing him go was just a loss for the organization, the rivalry, and just all of it.”