On January 26, beloved basketball player, Kobe Bryant, died in a helicopter crash in California. Bryant, along with his daughter, the pilot and friends, all perished in the accident on their way to his daughter’s basketball practice. Ginna Bryant 13 years of age, who also died in the horrific crash, was an avid basketball player who dreamed of playing like her father. When the news was released, those on social media around the world were crushed and immediately began to mourn.
A total of nine people died in the crash. They include the Altobelli family: father John, 56, a college baseball coach in California once named National Coach of the Year, mother Keri Altobelli, 46, and their daughter Alyssa Altobelli, 14 who was on the basketball team with Ginna Bryant. Christina Mauser, 38, the Harbor Day School coach; Sarah Chester, age 45, and her daughter Payton Chester, 13 who was part of the basketball team also died along with Pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.
Bryant was born in Philadelphia, PA. in August of 1978. He is the youngest of three siblings and the son of a former NBA player. He started playing basketball at age three. His favorite team was the Lakers, which he grew up to play for. Right out of high school Bryant was recruited to play for the NBA as a shooting guard. This was the start of an amazing career. He played 20 seasons with the Lakers.
Not just kids were affected by the death of Bryant; he was a role model for many teens and adults. He was also really inspiring to me as well. What I learned from him was that no matter what people might think of you continue to do what you love.
Bryant met his wife Vanessa when she was a senior in high school, and Byant was 20 years old. They had been married for 19 years and had four children. He is survived by his wife, and children Bianka Bryant, age 6, Capri Bryant, 7 months old, and Natalia Bryant, 17, an avid volleyball player.
Bryant averaged 25 points a game, was involved in acting gigs, and won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, Dear Basketball. He will be honored in August (2020) in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. When I first heard the news I thought it was a joke, people always talk about celebrities dying, but when I heard it was true I was sad. Lots of his fans looked up to him. This includes many young boys who are playing basketball or that are interested in playing basketball.
To be able to see an African American male doing so well from such a young age is inspiring. Although he had many fans, he also had haters. People would doubt him and put him down because they didn’t want to see a black man doing great. He will continue to live through many of his fans and may he rest in peace.