Mamba out

In memoriam of Kobe Bryant's life and legacy

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Graphic produced by: Mackienzee Rasheed, photos courtesy of Kobe Bryant, Avery Gillis and Elsa/ Getty Images
Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gigi Bryant, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning. He was a legendary basketball player and cared about his community, embodying his “Mamba mentality.” “To sum up what Mamba mentality is, it means to be able to constantly try to be the best version of yourself,” Kobe said.

On Sunday morning, a helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California. This helicopter crash killed nine people, including NBA star and global icon Kobe Bryant, 41, and one of his daughters Gianna (Gigi) Bryant, 13. This tragic crash has sent shock across the world, generating a number of tributes:eight and 24 second shot clock violations, jerseys hung up at the Grammys, moments of silences across sport platforms everywhere, and many more. Kobe and Gigi were both phenomenal athletes and people on and off the court. 

On the court, Kobe had 18 All-Star game appearances, 12 time All-Defense team member, five championship titles, four All-Star game MVP awards, two NBA finals MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals. Kobe knew what he wanted to be from a young age and he once said, “I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.”

He set countless records in the NBA, some being most All-Star game MVP awards won with, most NBA First Team honors won with 11, and most points scored in one arena with 16,161 points.

He was the definition of an outstanding player. Everyone knew him as the black Mamba and he encouraged everyone to strive for more and always give their best with his Mamba mentality, which, in his own words, means “ to be able to constantly try to be the best version of yourself.”

While Gigi was only 13 she was on her way to being an outstanding player. She played basketball at Mamba Academy and had dreams of playing for the University of Connecticut and in the WNBA. “She is a beast, she is better than I was at her age,” Kobe said. 

Off the court he was even more outstanding. He partnered with a program called After-School All-Stars that promotes academic success and he had a Vivo foundation started in 2002 that promotes education and reaches out to students who seek financial help. “My family and I put a lot of time into this. We feel like it’s a blessing to be in this type of position and if we can make a difference in a positive way, we’ll spend as much time as we possibly can,”  Kobe said.

He also created a whole sports academy called Mamba Sports Academy for basketball training. His daughter, Gigi, was on one of the teams that Kobe coached.

Kobe had many accomplishments and Gigi was not far behind following in his footsteps. They had a plan to make the world a better place and helping others understand their potential. “Everything negative-pressure, challenges- is all an opportunity for me to rise,”  with that final quote from Kobe remember Kobe was a legend among men and legends are forever. Mamba out.